Surat police on Friday broke open a ‘secret room’ to arrest history-sheeter Sajju Kothari, against whom two cases under the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organized Crime (GUJCTOC) were registered with Surat police.
Acting on a tip-off, over 50 police personnel, 4 police inspectors, 8 police sub-inspectors headed by Assistant Commissioner of police of Surat crime branch R R Sarwaiya, reached Jamrukhgali in Nanpura area Surat, on Friday evening.
The officials found the main gate of a bungalow, where Kothari was believed to be staying, locked, following which, the cops used a ladder to climb the main gate and reach the first floor. The cops knocked on the main door, which was opened by some women, who told the cops that Kothari was not at home.
Police carried out a search operation of the entire bungalow and on the first floor found a ‘secret room’, covered by a mirror next to a wardrobe. The officials knocked on the mirror and broke it open to find Kothari hiding inside. Kothari’s aide Samir Shaikh was found hiding in another room and also arrested by police.
Under strict police cover, both Kothari (44) and Shaikh (44) were brought to Surat city Crime branch, on Friday night.
Talking to The Sunday Express Surat police commissioner Ajay Kumar Tomar said, “We conducted a five hour long search operation to find Sajju Kothari who was hiding in a secret room made in his bungalow. Over 60 police officials were involved in the operation.”
Kothari is the first individual to have two cases under GUJCTOC Act registered against him, said Tomar.
The first case of GUJCTOC was registered against him on February 9, 2021.The court granted him bail a few months later on March 3.
On the very same day when police reached Surat Central Jail to arrest him in another case he had a scuffle with them and managed to escape.
After escaping he continued his criminal activities, and a total of 6 cases including that of land grabbing, gambling, extortion, assault on police, were registered against him with different police stations in the city.
Police said that a case under a case under IPC sections 386 (extortion),506(2) (criminal intimidation), 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication),114 and Gujarat Money Lenders Act section 40 (Penalty for molestation) and 42 (A) (Penalty for Contravention in an area without registration), and 42 (D) (demands, charges or receives from a debtor the interest at higher rate in contravention ) and GCTOC Act 2015 section 3(1)(2), 3(2) and 3(4) was registered on March 16, 2022, with Athwalines police station against both Kothari and Shaikh.
The investigation into the case was then handed over to the Surat crime branch headed by Sarwaiya from Athwalines police station.
On Saturday afternoon, both the accused were produced before Surat district court for obtaining 20 days of police remand. The court granted 12 days of police remand for both.
“With the arrest of Sajju Kothari, we have sent a message to the criminals in the city, that police will not leave anybody taking part in any criminal activities and strict actions will be taken. We will interrogate him strictly and get more details from him,” Tomar added.