The anti-extortion cell of the Mumbai crime branch arrested three men from gangster Suresh Pujari’s gang for their connection with two firing incidents in Nalasopara and Ulhasnagar on April 27. According to the police, the accused had also left extortion notes at the sites on Pujari’s orders.
A police source said that they were tipped off that Raj Sheshrao Chauhan, 25, Ali Abbas Jaffer Khan, 27, and Sudhakar Khristopriya, 52, would meet in Kurla on Friday and nabbed them. The police found a 7.65 bore pistol, two magazines, eight live cartridges and Rs. 2.5 lakh in cash on them.
The police also recovered two bikes from them which they had stolen from Borivli and Kalyan. Both the bikes were used in the firing incidents.
Of the accused, Khristopariya was in direct touch with Pujari, said a police source while they are checking the criminal records of the two other accused.
On April 28, Chauhan and Khan went to a wine shop in Ulhasnagar after covering their face and fired a shot. Later, they he handed over a note to shop attendant. The note ordered the owner of the wine shop to call Pujari.
On the same day, allegedly on Pujari’s direction, Khristopriya asked Chauhan and Khan to threaten a hotel owner in Nalasopara. The duo shot the hotel’s cashier while leaving another extortion note from Pujari. The ullet hit the cashier on the chest and his condition is critical, said an officer.
“The trio met in Janata Hotel in Kurla (West) to plan their course of action and to share the money they had received for carrying out the firings,” said deputy commissioner of police Dilip Sawant (crime branch). He added, “We are now looking for one more suspect who is involved with the case.”
The accused were produced in the court and remanded police custody till May 15.