The Gujarat police moved an application in the metropolitan magistrate’s court on Monday, seeking the custody of deported underworld point man Bunty Pande.
They want to interrogate Pande in connection with a kidnap and murder case that took place in 2004 in the jurisdiction of the Bharuch police. It was alleged that the crime was master minded by Pande.
The Gujarat police said in July 2004, a Non Resident Indian (NRI), from New Jersey in the US had visited Bharuch. The NRI had a diamond business, with offices in various countries. He was kidnapped from the outskirts of Bharuch town and his body was found after a couple of days by the roadside.
The police believe he had been killed because of his refusal to pay ransom to his kidnappers. The Bharuch police failed to make any headway in the case.
After a few months, the Gujarat police received a tip-off about another kidnapping plot. Prashant Rana and Pradeep Solanki, two businessmen from Gujarat, were kidnapped from the Mumbai airport.
In a joint operation comprising officers from the Valsad and Surat police, the six kidnappers were intercepted near Valsad. The main kidnapper was Sanjay Singh, who the police discovered was Pande’s aide. Singh told the police he had kidnapped the duo for ransom on Pande’s instructions.
During further interrogation, the Gujarat police learnt the gang’s involvement in the kidnapping of the NRI businessman, which had also been done at the behest of Pande.
Pande, an erstwhile confidant of Chhota Rajan, was deported to India earlier this month from Vietnam. He faces murder, kidnapping and extortion charges in three states. He is presently in custody of the crime branch.