Following alleged threats to several biggies in Bollywood from fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari, the city police have formed a special squad of 12 officers from different crime branch units to keep tabs on his activities. The team will also ensure the safety of potential targets.
The move comes after the arrest of 13 shooters who allegedly work under Pujari. The accused were arrested from Khar when they had come to shoot at producer-director Mahesh Bhatt in November last year.
A firing outside producer Karim Morani’s house in August 22, 2014, was also traced to Pujari’s gang.
The team is being supervised by the unit IX senior inspector. “Personnel from unit VI to XII were selected to form the team and they have been deployed at various locations in the Bandra-Khar belt, where most of the potential targets are located. Several Bollywood personalities and property developers have received alleged threat calls from Pujari,” said a crime branch officer.
The personnel, in civil clothes, have been deployed around the residences of those who received threats from Pujari.
On November 15, crime branch officers received a tip off that shooters would come to attack the Bhatts at their Khar-based office. A team of anti-motor vehicle theft laid a trap at the spot, after which the 13 shooters were arrested. The police had seized three firearms and 15 live rounds from them.
Who is Ravi Pujari?
Ravi Prakash Surya Pujari alias Ravi Pujari was born and raised in Andheri. He got introduced into the Rajan gang through his aide Shrikant Mama. His stature continued to grow as he began working with Guru Satam to extort money from hoteliers and cable operators. However, after Satam’s split with Chhota Rajan, Pujari branched out from Rajan’s gang to operate on his own.
Pujari first made headlines when he plotted to kill senior Bombay high court lawyer Majeed Memon. He called up media houses and openly bragged about the long list of Dawood Ibrahim henchmen he had on his hit list.