In Mumbai’s first conviction of an underworld don, gangland chief Arun Gawli was on Friday found guilty of the murder of Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar in March 2007.
Abu Salem, convicted in a fake passport case in Bhopal two years ago, is considered only a defected Dawood Ibrahim gangster both by the underworld and the police.
Gawli’s conviction came as a boost for the Mumbai Police, which has been battling the mafia menace for nearly four decades. In a rare occurrence, witnesses did not turn hostile in Gawli’s case.
“The hard work paid off. Right till the very end (of the trial), the gang tried to intimidate the witnesses,” said ADG Rakesh Maria, who played a crucial role in Gawli’s arrest in 2008.
D Sivanandan, former Maharashtra Director General of Police who is credited with breaking the backbone of Mumbai’s underworld in the late 1990s, said Gawli’s conviction was an “exhilarating event” for the police.