Mumbai Local

Gangster Ashwin Naik arrested in extortion case

File photo of Ashwin Naik. He had also demanded a 6,000 sq ft flat from the Dadar-based builder—Photo: PTI  

The Mumbai police on Sunday arrested former gangster Ashwin Naik in an extortion case after he was caught red-handed accepting extortion money from a city builder.

According to the police, on December 9, Naik’s aides approached a Dadar-based builder, who is constructing a building in a central suburb. They kidnapped him at gunpoint and took him to Naik’s office in Subhash Nagar on NM Joshi Marg.

They threatened him and demanded Rs 50 lakh as well as a 6,000 sq ft flat in the building. The developer sought some time and on Sunday registered an FIR at the Dadar police station. The police laid a trap to nab Naik, who arrived on Shankar Road with his aides in two cars to collect the money.

Naik, who is paralysed waist down, was sitting in one of the cars. When he accepted the bag containing Rs 50 lakh, the police team swooped down on the gang. Along with Naik, the police arrested his accomplices Pramod Keluskar, Janardan Sakpal, Prathamesh Parab and Rajesh Tambe on the spot. There was no chase involved, Zone V DCP Mahesh Patil said.

The five have been booked under section 364 (a) (abduction), 384 (punishment for extortion), 387 (putting person in fear of death or of grievous injury, in order to commit extortion), 34 (common intention) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. In addition, sections 3 (licence for acquisition and possession of firearms and ammunition) and 25 (pertaining to punishment for possession of ammunition) of the Arms Act were also invoked.

The police said that a few days ago, Naik had demanded Rs 25 lakh from the builder’s partner.

Naik has been acquitted in 16 cases related to murder, extortion and criminal assault, while two cases are pending against him.

He had allegedly hatched the murder conspiracy of his corporator wife Nita when he was in Delhi’s Tihar jail. Nita was shot dead outside her house in Chinchpokli on November 13, 2000, while she was under police protection. On January 30, 2009, a special MCOCA court had acquitted him of his wife’s murder.

In 1994, a rival gangster had shot at Naik in the Mumbai sessions court premises. He is wheelchair-bound since.

London-educated electronic engineer Naik had taken over the gang run by his brother Amar, who was gunned down by police in an encounter in the 1990s.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2021 12:34:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/gangster-ashwin-naik-arrested-in-extortion-case/article8013214.ece

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