Police hope Pujari’s extradition will help crack major cases

The gangster had been operating from Senegal after fleeing India in the 1990s to evade arrest.

The gangster had been operating from Senegal after fleeing India in the 1990s to evade arrest.

After getting underworld operative Ravi Pujari extradited from Senegal on Monday, a bigger challenge lies ahead of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths to probe over 47 criminal cases of murder, extortion and attempt to murder filed against him in the city.

A team, led by Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), is questioning Pujari in connection with the Shabnam Developers double murder case in Tilak Nagar and builder Subbraju murder case in Vyyalikaval.

These are the two important cases pending against Pujari which are serious in nature, and with a fair chance of conviction, Mr. Patil said.

Pujari’s arrest is also going to help the CCB to unearth his underworld connection in the State, the sleuths said. Pujari, who was operating from Senegal, had a network of people who would gather and provide information about his targets. Using this, he would make extortion calls and even carry out attacks using his local contacts to instil fear among people and coerce them to pay, officials said.

Still at large

Though some of his associates were arrested already, there are many who are still at large and efforts are on to smoke them out, he said. “We are going to investigate everything about Pujari and his connection in the State,” Mr. Patil said. Teams from central agencies and other States, including Maharashtra, Gujarat and Kerala, are in touch with their Karnataka counterparts to seek his custody. We will finish with the pending cases before he is handed over to the other agencies, Amar Kumar Pandey, ADGP (L&O) said.

97 criminal cases

Pujari, 59, a native of Malpe in Udupi district, used to operate in Mumbai in the 1990s. He was on the run since 1994 and was holed up in Senegal. He was brought to Bengaluru on Monday morning and taken into custody to be questioned on his involvement in over 97 criminal cases, 47 of them in Bengaluru.

He was brought back to India after being arrested and extradited from Senegal, where he had been living for the last three years running a hotel business. He was produced before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on Monday and remanded to police custody till March 7.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 12:54:19 am |