Mumbai: The Charkop unit of Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested a notorious gangster, Harish Mandvikar, who is already serving a life sentence in the Arthur Road jail for the murder, for passing chits to his henchmen and threatening a key witness who was to depose before the NDPS court against Sajid Electricwala, who is an undertrial prisoner for possession of contraband. While these two persons were taken into custody by ATS Charkop unit, they also arrested two others who were helping them in issuing threats to the witness. All the accused have been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Sajid Electricwala, the main accused was arrested along with six others in 2015 after police raided a manufacturing unit in Lokhandwala, Andheri and seized 155 kilograms of raw and finished Mephedrone worth crores of rupees. The deposition of key witnesses was underway when the novel coronavirus pandemic halted all the proceedings in March this year, only to be resumed last month.
One such witness was to depose on November 26, but was being issued threats to life and asking him to give false statements in favour of Electricwala by Sujit Padwalkar. After various such threats were issued, the witness approached ATS Charkop unit and complained about the same. Acting on the complaint, police arrested Padwalkar, who revealed that he was acting on the behest of Sachin Kolekar, an associate of notorious gangster Harish Mandvikar.
Further probe revealed that Electricwala and Mandvikar hatched a conspiracy to threaten the witnesses and tamper with the court proceedings, following which the gangster sent out handwritten notes to his henchmen Kolekar to issue threats through Padwalkar. On the basis of the clinching evidence, ATS police immediately obtained custody of Electricwala and Mandvikar, both of whom are currently lodged in Arthur Road jail on Monday.
Police are in possession of specific leads in connection to the handwritten chits passed by gangster Harish Mandvikar, who has multiple cases of murder and extortion registered against him, including the murder of 'Matka King' Suresh Bhagat in which he has been convicted and awarded a life sentence. "Probe revealed that Mandvikar had sent out paper chits with instructions through his family members and visitors to his gang members and had been sending out multiple chits from behind bars for gang activities and instructions to his gang members," said an officer.