Even as the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Gujarat has nabbed three alleged accomplices of alleged gangster Jayesh Ranpariya alias Jayesh Patel, the Jamngar district police, on Friday, said that they have booked Ranpariya and 13 others under the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crimes (GCTOC) Act, 2015, for allegedly running a crime syndicate of extortion and property grab and that eight of them, including a sitting BJP corporator of Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (JMC) and a leading builder of the Jamangar city have been arrested.
Addressing a press conference in Jamnagar, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Rajkot range, Sandeep Singh said that after tracking the activities of Ranpariya’s gang in the recent past, Jamnagar district police booked Ranpariya and 13 of his accomplices under GCTOC Act Sections dealing with being member of a criminal gang, to provide information to it, to give shelter to members of such gang, to look after property obtained by the gang through criminal means, etc. The accused have also been booked under IPC sections 120 (b) (Criminal conspiracy), 386 (Extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt), 387 (Putting person in fear of death or of grievous hurt, in order to commit extortion) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation).
The DIG said: “Jayesh Patel and his accomplices, as a part of criminal conspiracy, had formed an organised crime syndicate and were extorting money from land owners, real estate developers and other businessmen in Jamnagar… Therefore, in accordance of law, I gave gave approval for filing an offence under GUJCTOC and Jamnagar police have done a great job. They have arrested eight people overnight. The eight whom we have arrested are Atul Bhanderi, Vashrambh Maiyatra, Nilesh Toliya, Mukesh Abhangi, Pravin Chowatiya, Jigar alias Jimmy Adatiya, Anil Parmar and Praful Popat. Additionally, Jaspal Jadeja is presently lodged in Jamnagar jail.The other accused is Jayesh Patel.” However, he refused to divulge names of the remaining four accused. “We are declaring these 10 names. Due to requirement of confidentiality in investigation, we are not disclosing at his stage names of the remaining accused,” said Singh.
The DIG , however, said that Ranpariya, the alleged gang leader, is on the run.
Bhanderi is a sitting BJP corporator in the JMC, while Mayatra is a retired assistant sub-inspector who had served in the Jamnagar LCB. Toliya and Abhangi are leading builders of Jamnagar, while Chowatiya is a local journalist. Superintendent of Jamnagar district police, Deepan Bhadran, said that the rest of the accused whose names police had shared were receiving extortion money, on behalf of the main accused, and passing it on to the leader.
“Jayesh Patel and his accomplices had formed a crime syndicate and ran an organised racket of extorting money from land owners, real estate developers and businessmen. Their modus operandi is to first identify prime land in the city, then tried to get control of such land by fording documents, take the matter to court and then try to extort money from the rightful owner in the name of settling the dispute,” Singh said while addressing the press conference.
Police said that an FIR was filed by Jamnagar city ‘A’ division police station on Thursday night, based on a complaint filed by KG Chaudhary, police inspector of Local Crime Branch (LCB) of Jamnagar.
Singh later told The Indian Express, “Ranpariya is the leader of the gang and the rest were acting in league with him. We are not disclosing names of the four other accused at this stage of investigation.” However, he said that the three men arrested by the ATS, including Balvirsinh Patva alias Ballu of Madhya Pradesh, the alleged main arms supplier to Ranpariya’s gang, were not accused in the GCTOC case.
Two days ago, the ATS had also arrested Anwar alias Aliyo Gadhkhai and Aijaz alias Mama Sandeep, both residents of Jamnagar district, alleged to be accomplices of Ranpariya.
A person who has been chargesheeted in at least two criminal cases, and if the court has taken cognisance of such chargesheets, can be booked under the GUCTOC Act. However, Bhadran said that a total of 42 cases have been registered against the 14 accused over the past 22 years.
The GCTOC Act allows police to intercept communication of the accused and then produce such interception as evidence in a court. It also provides for admitting as evidence a confessional statement made before a police officer admissible as evidence.
The DIG added that Nitesh Pandey, assistant superintendent of police of Jamnagar, has been assigned the probe of the case.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines