2 held for firing on Sena functionary in Vikhroli; hit was ordered by a gangster aide

Mumbai: The Anti Extortion Cell of Mumbai Police arrested two men on Tuesday from Madhya Pradesh and Thane in the contract killing bid that was foiled on December 19. Chandrashekhar Jadhav, 55, a deputy vibhag pramukh with the Shiv Sena was fired at by three gunmen near Vikhroli, where two had escaped and the mob managed to catch one. During the probe, it came to light that the hit on Jadhav was called on by a gangster, Prasad Pujari, who is based out of India.

On December 19, Jadhav, who had gone for a visit to Sai Mandir in Vikhroli at 7am, accompanied by his supporters and was sitting in the trust office, unknown assailants barged in and fired several rounds from a pistol. Police said one of the bullets hit Jadhav in the right arm, after which the accused tried to flee. There were three assailants, said police; of them, one was held by Jadhav's supporters after a brief chase. Vikhroli police were immediately alerted of the incident, who took the accused into their custody and rushed him to a hospital, as he had sustained injuries in the fistfight.

A case of attempt to murder was registered against three men at Vikhroli police station and a probe was initiated. During the probe, police gathered leads from Sagar Mishra about the duo who escaped, but he kept misleading them. Subsequently, the Crime Branch and the Anti-Extortion Cell teams began a parallel probe and traced the make of the pistol to have manufactured at an Indian Ordnance Factory (IOF) in Madhya Pradesh.

Acting on the tip-off, three teams were constituted and were sent to Thane, Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Karnataka to nab the accused. When a team reached Rewa, MP, they nabbed Krishnadhar Singh, who revealed they were given a tip by Prasad Pujari, an aide of gangster Kumar Pillai. Subsequently, police arrested the third accused, Anand Phadtare from Thane and brought them to Mumbai.

Police said, Singh and Phadtare were arrested for contract killing bid allegedly given by Pujari, who wants to instil fear in the minds of Mumbaikars. The arrested duo revealed Pujari had also provided them with accommodation in Mumbai and had ordered to make the hit in the morning when Jadhav would go to the temple. Moreover, Pujari had also provided the accused trio with a motorcycle with fake number plate to evade identification, said police.

Based on the leads, police arrested Singh and Phadtare and booked them under relevant IPC sections for attempt to murder and house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint, along with sections of the Arms Act. They were produced in a local magistrate court and remanded in police custody till January 1. Meanwhile, Mishra is recuperating in the hospital.

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Free Press Journal