Three members of Ravi Pujari gang arrested

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Mumbai: Three suspected members of Ravi Pujari gang were arrested today amid reports that the fugitive mobster was behind the recent threat phone calls made to Bollywood personalities.

Police said they have nabbed one Madanchand Sonkar, who was in constant touch with Pujari, and his two aides Ashutosh Verma and Ram Bahadur Chauhan here.

“Sonkar was planning to commit some crime as he had purchased arms at the instance of Pujari,” said Sadanand Date, Joint Commissioner Police (Crime). He said a pistol, cartridges, 11 SIM cards and a map were seized from the trio who have criminal antecedents.

The arrests have been made at a time when Mumbai Crime Branch is investigating threat calls reportedly made by Pujari to some well-known names in Hindi film industry. The three will be questioned about these threat calls, police sources said. Actor Boman Irani was provided police protection after he reportedly received a threat call from Pujari, said to be based abroad, a few days ago.

On August 23, three unidentified people opened fire outside the residence of film producer Ali Morani in suburban Juhu. Two days later, Pujari allegedly called up superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s production house Red Chillies and passed on a message for him. The mafia man asked Khan’s staff to tell the actor to stay away from Morani. The notorious gangster is known to make calls to builders
and film personalities.

In June, his name cropped up during the Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia case. Pujari had made a call at Wadia Group’s office here warning the industrialist to stay away from the actress.

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