As elections near, gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli is playing all his cards to get out of jail, and the police too are doing their best to keep him in.
On Monday, the high court will hear Gawli's bail application in connection with Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar’s murder in 2007.
In his application, Gawli has alleged that “the office of the DCB, CID Unit III has a personal grudge against him” and that “the attitude of the respondent state towards him is bias and vindictive in nature”.
Gawli had floated the Akhil Bharatiya Sena and won the 2004 elections with over 92,000 votes. Alleging that his party’s gaining popularity was not going down well with certain politicians, the application stated: “Whenever elections are likely to be announced or to be held, the applicant [Gawli] is harassed and humiliated by the police machinery, particularly by the DCB CID Unit III, by implicating him in false criminal cases”.
On March 2, 2007, the Saki Naka police had registered a case against Gawli for Jamsandekar's murder.
Initially, the police had arrested seven men, and Gawli was not named in the first information report.
But in March 2008, when the Crime Branch (CB) arrested four other men in an extortion case, Gawli’s name cropped up in an alleged confessional statement and he was arrested on April 21.
The CB called for the case papers and station diary of Jamsandekar’s murder from the Saki Naka police on April 26 and 29, 2008, the application stated. And on April 29, Gawli was shown arrested in Jamsandekar’s murder.
For application of the stringent anti-organised crime Act (MCOCA), the CB citied four earlier cases, claimed Gawli.
Opposing his bail, Assistant Commissioner of Police Ashok Duraphe filed an affidavit stating that Gawli has a total of 42 cases against him. “Gawli, through his continuous criminal activities, has compelled us to keep him inside the jail,” the affidavit said.