When anti-Extortion Cell of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch had arrested three persons for firing outside a wine shop in Ulhasnagar and at a hotel in Nalasopara in adjoining Thane district, it was a normal case. Subsequently, it was learned that three accused allegedly owe allegiance to the Suresh Pujari gang. Now police have ascertained their background and found that none them was history-sheeter, according to Indian Express report. Sudhakar Kristophariya (52) was a caterer and used to supply food for inmates of Surat jail. The second accused, 25-year-old Raj Chavan, was working as a waiter. Third accused Ali Abbas Khan (27) was an aspiring model. Chavan’s acquaintance Khan hails from Kashmir and was seeking for entry to the tinsel town.
During the search police found one 7.65 bore pistol, two magazines, eight live cartridges, cell phones and Rs 2.5 lakh from them, an official had said. During interrogation it was revealed that the accused had come to Kurla to discuss the plan and to distribute the money, which they had received on behalf of Suresh Pujari, the official said, as per PTI report. It has been learned that they had never held a gun yet they were offered Rs 10 lakh for the job by absconding gangster Suresh Pujari. Police felt tohat these arrests have hinted at the shortage of sharpshooters in the city, as per IE report. According to Police, such is the crisis that gangsters were approaching over 50 recruits for an assignment.
“A lot of these new boys are told that they don’t have to kill anyone or even shoot at a person. They are asked to, for example, fire at a glass window near the target, leave a note asking the victim to call the gangster and then flee. Such firings are mostly to scare people into paying. These youngsters think they can get good money — at least Rs 1 lakh — without harming anyone, and agree to take the job,” said an officer linked to the Pujari probe.
In a similar incident last October, Hanumant Gaikwad (27) and Rahul Londhe (24) were arrested. The two are from Solapur, both sons of farmers. “They were facing acute financial distress. Gaikwad needed money to get his sister married. When they were approached, they readily agreed. Neither had a prior criminal record,” said an officer. Others arrested in the case included a hookah parlour owner from Navi Mumbai and a Pune-based caterer, the report says.