A former member of Arun Gawli gang was among the five persons arrested here today in connection with a fake firing incident, police said.
The accused Subhash Adivarkar (44), a former member of Arun Gawli gang and his associates Baban Gangavane (39), Surendra Ravat (42), Laxman Urme (35) and Ismail Sulemaan Shaha (51) were nabbed and handed over to Agripada police station for further proceedings, Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy said.
Adivarkar's associate Shaha had lodged a complaint saying an unidentified person shot at him when he was sitting in a restaurant at Agripada area on the evening of June 22.
Though he did not specifically name anybody the tone of the same hinted at the involvement of a builder, Sunil Meher, with whom Shaha had a property dispute, Roy said.
"Shaha claimed that fortunately the bullet missed him by a whisker," the joint police commissioner said.
Meher is undertaking a redevelopment project at the slums in Agripada where Shaha was stays, the police officer said.
"Shaha demanded three rooms in the redevelopment project but he was given only one room. Upset over this, he planned an attempt-to-murder charge on him. His plan was that once a murder attempt takes place on him, the police would question the builder, from whom he could extort money or get two extra rooms he wanted," Roy said.
Accordingly, Shaha had contacted Adivarkar, explained about the conspiracy and promised Rs 15 lakh for the job.
In the mid June, Shaha met Adivarkar and Baban near Nair College and gave them Rs 70,000 as the first instalment.
On June 22, as per the planning, Adivarkar gave a loaded weapon to Baban, who opened firing at Shaha ensuring that the latter was not hurt while Ravat kept vigil. Urme had helped in executing the firing.
"However, the needle of suspicion pointed towards the complainant as his behaviour post incident was normal. Shaha went home, had biryani and even went for a movie the next day," Roy added.
Two pistols, two cartridges and two knifes were recovered from the accused, he said.