Amedabad: Ravi Pujari brought to Ahmedabad from Bengaluru for interrogation

Pujari has nearly 100 cases against him in Karnataka and the Karnataka police was the first to issue a red corner notice against him.

The Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) on Monday brought gangster notorious Ravi Pujari to Ahmedabad from Bengaluru for detailed interrogation in a January 2017 case of attempt to murder of an independent municipal councillor of Borsad in Anand district.

The DCB sought Pujari’s custody from a court in Bengaluru, where he has been in the custody of the Karnataka police since being extradited from Senegal in February 2020.

Officials of Ahmedabad DCB told The Indian Express that Pujari, who has a total of 70 cases against him in Gujarat, including 14 registered with the DCB, can be tried only for the 2017 attempt to murder case of Borsad councillor Pragnesh Patel, as per the treaty of extradition signed between India and Senegal.

Chaitanya Mandlik, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of Ahmedabad DCB, told this newspaper, “We have taken Pujari’s custody from the Bengaluru police as per the treaty of extradition, which permits his trial in the one case of 2017 under Indian Penal Code section 307 for an attempt to murder. He has 70 cases against him in Gujarat but he can be tried only in this one case at the moment. The incident occurred in Borsad town. We will interrogate him and report it to the Ministry of Home Affairs accordingly since his custody is based on his extradition.”

Last weeek, a sessions court in Bengaluru remanded Pujari to the custody of the Gujarat police for 30 days. The court also directed the Gujarat police to provide additional security to Pujari while in custody, citing a threat to his life.

The Ahmedabad Crime Branch had told the court that the custody of Pujari was needed to also record his statement before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court of Borsad town. Mandlik said that Pujari would be sent back to the custody of the Karnataka police after the completion of his remand period with the Gujarat DCB.

“Among the other cases against Pujari, there are a few attempts to murder as well as extortion calls made to Amul Managing director, RS Sodhi. However, in the current remand, we are only investigating the Borsad case. There will be a fresh list of cases and requests sent by the government to Senegal later,” Mandlik said.

The case dates to January 13, 2017, when two assailants on a motorcycle fired four rounds at Patel outside his house in Borsad. One of the two assailants arrested in Thailand, in coordination with the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) in January 2017, was said to be one of Pujari’s henchmen.

Pujari has nearly 100 cases against him in Karnataka and the Karnataka police was the first to issue a red corner notice against him. He also has around 80 cases in Mumbai, where he was booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and was already produced in the special MCOCA court in February this year.

Pujari, who is a native of Malpe in Udupi district of Karnataka, was a close aide of gangster Chhota Rajan who was working with Dawood Ibrahim in the 1990s in Mumbai. After Rajan split ways with Ibrahim, Pujari also parted ways with Rajan to carve his own identity in the underworld.

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