Pune: Within hours of former deputy mayor and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporator Deepak Mankar surrendering before ACP (Lashkar division), Camp, in connection with an abetment of suicide case, Pune city police slapped the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). This will make it difficult for Mankar to get bail for the next few months.
The Supreme Court had rejected his anticipatory bail plea on July 23 and had ordered him to surrender before the police within 10 days. He surrendered around 10.15 am. An FIR is registered against Mankar and eight others for abetting suicide of Jitendra Jagtap, brother of policeman Shailesh Jagtap, in a land dispute case.
Jagtap had jumped in front of a running train between Ghorpadi and Hadapsar on June 2. He left behind a note alleging Mankar and builder Sudhir Karnataki were harassing him. They were allegedly harassing him over a money dispute related to the land.
According to the police, the land is owned by Mankar and Jagtap was the custodian. Jagtap was asking for payment of money for his services after Mankar wanted the land back. This led to disputes between them, the police said. Police have already arrested eight accused in the case including builder Sudhir Karnataki.
Mankar, leader of orgnised crime: Police to court
Within few hours of his surrender, Senior Police Inspector Arun Waykar, in-charge of Samarth police station, moved a proposal before Additional Commissioner of Police (South region) Ravindra Sengaonkar, to invoke MCOCA against Mankar, as there had been several cases against him of land grabbing.
After Sengaonkar’s sanction, ACP (Lashkar division) Jayshree Gaikwad, who is investigating the case, produced Mankar before the court of special judge (MCOCA) around 6 pm.
Mankar’s supporters had gathered in large number inside as well as outside the court premises since afternoon. However, they were not allowed inside the courtroom which was packed with lawyers and journalists.
District government pleader Ujjwala Pawar argued for his seven days police custody. “Mankar is head of organised crime syndicate and there are 15 cases against him. These cases are related to land grabbing, kidnapping for extortion, terrorising people for monetary gain through his gang members. In this particular case, he pressurised Jagtap so much that he committed suicide,” Pawar argued.
However, defence lawyer Sudhir Shah pointed out that out of those 15 cases, he has been acquitted in 14 while one case is pending. “MCOCA cannot be applied in abetment of suicide case. Jagtap was not the owner of the land, it belongs to Mankar. Jagtap had fraudulently got electricity meter and then a Shop Act license, while he was only made caretaker,” Shah submitted to the court.
After hearing both sides, the judge remanded Mankar to police custody till Monday.