B’luru police seek Mumbai gangster Pujari’s custody in shootout case
On February 15, 2007, two unidentified men had barged into the office of Shabnam Developers in Tilak Nagar and shot dead receptionist Shylaja and office assistant Lohitashwa alias Ravi, said police.
Bengaluru police have obtained a warrant from a court in the city seeking gangster Suresh Pujari’s custody. The Mumbai gangster was deported from the Philippines in December last year by the Mumbai police. The Central Crime Branch (CCB) has sought his custody in connection with a shootout at a Tilak Nagar firm in 2007.
On February 15, 2007, two unidentified men had barged into the office of Shabnam Developers in Tilak Nagar and shot dead receptionist Shylaja and office assistant Lohitashwa alias Ravi, said police. The police chargesheet stated that the shooters were hired by gangster Ravi Pujari. In 2006, Pujari is said to have called Shabnam Developers officials demanding money, which was refused.
According to the police chargesheets, Ravi had plotted the shooting and tasked Suresh to execute the murder in Bengaluru by recruiting shooters.
The conspiracy to attack the real estate firm was allegedly hatched in meetings at three different hotels in Bengaluru and it also alleged that before committing the crime Suresh lived in Bengaluru at a rented house using an alias ofPraveen.
Tilak Nagar police had charge-sheeted 18 suspects with Ravi Pujari as the prime suspect and named him accused number one. As the investigation proceeded, cops arrested 14 men, including the alleged shooters, Ravi Pujari, Suresh Pujari, Vijay Kumar and Anand.
Before the trial, one of the absconding accused died of illness. During the proceedings, eight accused, including shooter Vijay Kumar were acquitted by a trial court in 2016, the second shooter Anand and five others are currently on trial.
In total, five chargesheets have been filed so far with one leading to an acquittal on January 23, 2016, and others still under trial. The CCB now plans to bring Suresh before the court to seek a sentence for his role in the planning of the murder.
According to CCB officials, Ravi and Suresh with the help of a hired gunmen tried to attack Shabnam Developers owner-cum-local politician K S Samiullah, who had resisted extortion attempts by Ravi through telephone calls.
During this attack, the two employees of the firm were killed. Soon after the incident, a local television channel received a call from a person identifying himself as Ravi Pujari claiming to have carried out the Shabnam Developers shooting “because the firm owner was associated with the Mumbai gangsters Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel”.
Suresh Pujari, 45, has multiple cases of shootings — linked to organised crime activities — registered against him in Mumbai, police sources said.