Cancel licence: City crime branch to Thane police chief | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Cancel licence: City crime branch to Thane police chief

The Mumbai police crime branch has written to the Thane police commissioner for the immediate cancellation of a firearm license issued to Prasad Shetty alias Vittala, 39, an alleged member of the underworld Ravi Pujari gang. The Thane police commissioner ordered an inquiry into the incident. Debasish Panigrahi reports.

mumbai Updated: Apr 11, 2012 01:12 IST
Debasish Panigrahi

The Mumbai police crime branch has written to the Thane police commissioner for the immediate cancellation of a firearm license issued to Prasad Shetty alias Vittala, 39, an alleged member of the underworld Ravi Pujari gang. The Thane police commissioner ordered an inquiry into the incident.

“We have sent a report to the Thane police commissioner, seeking the immediate cancellation of the firearm licence which had been issued to Shetty, a gangster, by the Thane police in 2007,” joint commissioner of police, crime, Himanshu Roy told HT on Monday.

He was reacting to a report published in HT on April 9, highlighting the lack of communication between police in the two neighbouring cities which had resulted in the issuance of not only firearm licence, but passport to Shetty, a notorious extortionist from the Pujari gang.

Thane police commissioner, KP Raghuvanshi said that the arms and ammunition (licencing) department of the Thane police has been instructed to find out which officer had handled Shetty’s file and what background checks had been conducted before granting him a firearm licence. It is usually hard to get a licence for a firearm: apart from a detailed check on the applicant’s antecedents, the perception of threat to his life is assessed by not less than two senior IPS officers (apart from the local police station), before the commissioner of police assents.

Shetty, a member of the Pujari gang, had been arrested by the west region special squad in 1999 for trying to extort Rs. 15 lakh from a businessman in Dindoshi. He got bail in 2000 and shifted to Thane, where he lived in a flat in Hiranandani Meadows building, on 2nd Pokharan Road.

On March 7, the Mumbai police crime branch arrested Shetty again for demanding Rs50 lakh ransom from a Chembur-based businessman.