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Gangster Suresh Pujari hired minor as shooter for extortion bids in Mumbai and Thane

One of the five arrested members of his gang is a 17-year-old boy, who had also shot a staffer of the KN Park hotel on Kalyan-Bhiwandi Highway, on January 10.

mumbai Updated: Jan 24, 2018 00:14 IST
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,suresh pujari,minor shooting
The fifth member of the gang who has been arrested is a minor.(Representational Image)

Underworld gangster Suresh Pujari hired a minor for shootouts for his extortion business, a crime branch probe has revealed.

One of the five arrested members of his gang is a 17-year-old boy, who had also shot a staffer of the KN Park hotel on Kalyan-Bhiwandi Highway, on January 10 and demanded Rs25 lakh extortion money from the hotel owner.

Officials of the anti-extortion cell of Mumbai crime branch arrested Harish Kotian, 30, Sanket Dalvi, 25, Prathmesh Kadam, 22, and Aniket Thakur, 25, on Friday.

The fifth member of the gang who has been arrested is a minor.

“Initially, the accused concealed his age from the police. However, he later claimed that he is a minor,” said a police officer.

“A constable was immediately sent to his native place in Khed taluka and after relevant documents were collected, it was established that the accused is a minor. The court was informed on Tuesday and he was sent to the correction home,” added the officer.

A source said that the boy is a Class 9 dropout and was booked for an attempt to murder charge in 2016.

“The minor was introduced to Kotian and Dalvi by his friend Kadam. He was included in Pujari’s gang. They offered him Rs75,000 for firing at the staffer on the instruction of Kotian and Dalvi, who were in direct contact with Pujari through internet calling,” said the source.

Crime branch officials on Friday arrested Kotian and Dalvi in the extortion case registered by the Fort-based businessman. Later, the others were arrested.

Another source has said that after taking legal opinion, crime branch may move court requesting to treat the minor as an adult.

With the busting of an entire module of gangster Suresh Pujari, crime branch plans to invoke Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the case.

Another accused is wanted in the case.

First Published: Jan 24, 2018 00:14 IST