Senegal to Mumbai: Police chase gangster Ravi Pujari, with documents in tow
The Mumbai crime branch will send to the Maharashtra home department next week its formal proposal to extradite gangster Ravi Pujari, who is under judicial detention after his arrest in Dakar in Senegal on January 9.
The officials will send a letter of request, with a dossier on the antecedents of the criminal, who is wanted in 51 cases of murder, extortion, shoot-outs, intimidation in the city over the past three decades. The additional chief secretary (home) will then send the documents to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in Delhi.
A top source in the crime branch told HT on Tuesday the dossier is being compiled, with details of 17-18 of the 51 cases. “The selected cases are mostly those filed under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), in which Pujari is named as the main accused. While a majority of these cases have been decided and the arrested accused convicted, courts have issued warrants for Pujari to face trial,” sources said, adding, “The warrants and the case history will be added to the dossier. We are currently translating the documents from Marathi to English.”
A senior crime branch official said the urgency of the situation necessitated the selection of these 18 cases. “Pujari could be kept in judicial custody in Senegal for a maximum period of 60 days, following his arrest based on the Interpol warrant. We have to file our appeal with proof within that period in order to initiate the extradition process. Otherwise, he may be set free,” the official said, adding, “The remaining case details will be submitted in the second phase.”
Sources said similar extradition requests and case files on Pujari are also being submitted to the MHA by the police in Karnataka, Gujarat and Kerala, where he is wanted in scores of serious criminal offences.
Pujari had been arrested only once in Mumbai in connection with an attempted murder and rioting case in 1994. He then worked under Chhota Rajan operative Guru Satam. He is suspected to have sneaked out of the country in 1996, after coming out on bail. This case also figures in the crime branch dossier on the fugitive.