THE Crime branch officials on Monday arrested the five alleged aides of gangster Ravi Poojari under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). The five have been arrested for allegedly firing inside the office of film producer and director Mahesh Bhatts's office last year.
The five accused Santosh Pujari, Ramesh Kanojia, Arvind Devadhia, Nityanand Shetty and Sampat Kotiyan were produced before the special Judge MR Bhatkar where they were remanded to police custody till January 29 by the court.
In the remand application the police stated that the five accused had allegedly conspired to intimidate Bhatt by firing in his office at the behest of wanted accused Ravi Poojari and Suresh Poojari in order to create a clout of their gang in Bollywood and gain supremacy over other gangs operating in Bollywood.
The police also stated that during investigations it was found that the accused were having two more cases of similar offences registered against them and were operating in an organised manner. Thus the accused had to be arrested under MCOCA to deter their activities. The police while seeking the custody of the accused informed that the accused needed to be interrogated for getting vital lead in the case and to get information about the whereabouts of Poojari.
On June 14, last year an unidentified gunman had entered the office of Bhatt at Juhu scheme where he fired a bullet and then fled, leaving behind an envelope asking the director to call Ravi Pujari. On December 13, 2006, the police received a tip-off that Suresh Pujari, a trusted aide of Pujari, was to come to Ghatkopar to murder an hotelier. Acting on it, they managed to nab the five accused before the crime was committed but Suresh Pujari managed to escape.