Gangster Ravi Pujari brought to Mumbai sent in police custody

    (Eds: adding details)
Mumbai, Feb 23 (PTI) Gangster Ravi Pujari was brought
to Mumbai from Bengaluru on Tuesday and produced before a
special court which remanded him in the custody of city police
till March 9 in a 2016 case of firing at a restaurant.
    Pujari was extradited to India from Senegal in West
Africa in February last year after being on the run for
several years, and was lodged in a jail in Bengaluru.
    The crime branch of Mumbai Police which is probing
the case produced him before a special court for the
Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA).
    His custodial interrogation was required to find out
who gave instructions for the attack as Pujari himself was in
Senegal at the time, the police told the court.
    They also needed to find out where the pistol used in
the attack was obtained and how the finances were arranged,
police said.
    Pujari's lawyer Devanad Manerkar argued that the case
was under investigation for aboutfive years, so his extended
custody was not needed.
    Judge D E Kothalikar, however, noted that on the face
of it there was ample evidence on record against the accused
and the allegations were serious, so police should have
sufficient opportunity to probe the case.
    The court permitted Pujari's lawyerto meet him once
in two days.
    The incident of firing had taken place at a restaurant
in suburban Vile Parle on October 21, 2016. According to
police, it was done by the Pujari gang to intimidate the owner
and extort money.
    Seven aides of the gangster were arrested in the case
    According to Mumbai Police, Pujari, who hails from
Udupi in Karnataka, ran an extortion racket from abroad,
targeting businessmen and film personalities among others.
     Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Milind Bharambe
told reporters that as many as 49 cases are registered against
the gangster at various police stations in Mumbai including
those of murder. PTI AVI/DC GK

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)