Confessions of accused had led to MCOCA charges
The crime branch had, on March 17 last year, invoked the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the four accused who had allegedly shot dead advocate Shahid Azmi on February 11 last year.
On February 16, the crime branch arrested Devendra Bapurao Jagtap, 28, Pintu Devram Dhagle, 22 - the two alleged shooters and Vinod Yashwant Vichare, 32, - the mafia manager. The third shooter, Hasmukh Shankar Solanki, 32, was arrested on March 10.
The crime branch had observed that the sophistication with which the killing was executed indicated that it was not the handiwork of a local or small-time criminal.
The police stated that during interrogation it was revealed that the killing was done at the behest of notorious gang leader Bharat Nepali.
Nepali portrayed himself as a patriot and believed Azmi was an anti-social element. Azmi, had in the past, represented accused in the 7/11 serial train bombings and Fahim Ansari, accused in the 26/11 terror attacks.
Nepali is believed to be a close aide of underworld gangster Chhota Rajan who is known to target people with an 'anti-establishment' or 'anti-national' image.
The prosecution had taken the stand that for applying MCOCA there had to be an association with an organised crime syndicate, which was represented by the Bharat Nepali gang.
Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar, who is slated to appear before a Delhi court later this week in connection with a money laundering case, on Tuesday said Shivakumar is not aware about the contents of Enforcement Directorate's charge sheet against him and is yet to receive a copy of it. A Delhi court last month summoned him and others in a money laundering case registered against him in 2018.
Bengaluru logged 887 of Karnataka's 968 new Covid-19 infections on Tuesday, compared to 592 (of 617 in the state) the day before. The health department said Tuesday's positives included backlog cases which could not be ported from Indian Council for Medical Research database due to a technical glitch. Data indicated that 337 people were declared to have recovered from Covid in the state, of whom 293 were from Bengaluru.
Streets wore a deserted look and shops remained closed amid eerie calm in Udaipur on Wednesday, the first morning after a man was beheaded for supporting former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, who was suspended from the party earlier this month for her controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad.
In a tragic incident, four persons including two labourers, one crane operator and a car driver, died due to a crane accident Navi Mumbai on Tuesday evening. They working at an under construction site of City and Industrial Development Corporation's Taloja phase 2 project in Navi Mumbai The accident occurred after the tower crane used to transport construction materials atop Taloja collapsed from the 14th floor and landed on them.
The NIA has arrested two accused in Jammu & Kashmir in the cross-LoC trade and terror funding case. Earlier, the NIA had conducted multiple raids across the Valley in the terror-funding case. NIA spokesman in a statement said that on Monday the NIA arrested two accused Tanveer Ahmad Wani of Achagoza, Rajpora, Pulwama and Peer Arshad Iqbal, alias Ashu of Khwaja Bagh, Baramulla.