Pimpri: In a major development, a team of the Pimpri-Chinchwad police Commissionerate officers has managed to zero down on a 'gang' for allegedly smuggling firearms from Madhya Pradesh to Maharashtra. The officers have caught 26 suspects.
The Pimpri-Chinchwad Commissionerate's Crime Branch (Unit-4) team had carried out the operation. The squad spent two days in disguise, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, to nab the suspects, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The police have arrested 15 suspects and seized 42 country-made pistols along with 66 live cartridges worth Rs 19,89,500.
The suspects have been identified as: Ganesh Maruti Mali (26), resident of old Sangvi, Pimpri-Chinchwad; Gyanoba alias Gotu Maruti Gitte (30), resident of Parli in Beed district; Manisingh Gurmukhsingh Bhatia (35), a resident of Dhar district in Madhya Pradesh; Yogendra Jagdish Bhambure and Kush Nandkumar Pawar, both are residents of Talegaon Dabhade, in Maval taluka; Prasanna Dnyaneshwar Pawar (25), resident of Godumbre; Maval, Akash alias Balu Jagannath Waghmode (25) resident of Patel Chowk, Kurduwadi, District of Solapur; Yogesh Vitthal Kamble (24), resident of Thergaon, a native of Shirala; Chetan alias Mama Govind Liman (28), resident of Limbachi Talim; Prakash alias Pappu Kisan Mandekar (27) and Siraj Salim Sheikh (34), both are residents of Ambethan, Khed, Pune; Tushar Mahadu Bavkar (25), resident of Kasarasai, Mulshi; Pragnesh Sanjay Netke (23), resident of Gawde-Bhor Ali, Chinchwadgaon; Yogesh alias Aba Bapurao Taware (24), resident of Malegaon, Baramati; and Akshay Dilip Kemkar (28), resident of Medad, Solapur.
Assistant Police Inspector Ambrish Deshmukh of Unit-4 who has been investigating the case said, "A team of Crime Branch (Unit-4) arrested the suspect Ganesh Mali and seized firearms from him. It is learnt that he took it from the suspect named Gotu Gitte. Accordingly, the police arrested Gitte and recovered six pistols, a grenade launcher and 15 live cartridges from them. The investigation revealed that the suspect Gitte had bought the firearms from Madhya Pradesh."
He went to say that, "Our team arrested Manisingh Bhatia, the main suspect of the gang, while being in disguise in Madhya Pradesh. Our team laid a trap for two days for him. We recovered 11 country-made pistols and 22 live cartridges were seized. Later, the suspect named Bhatia and his accomplice Kalusingh Jaswant Singh, a resident of Singhana, District Dhar in Madhya Pradesh, had sold a large number of firearms to suspects Kush Pawar, Prasanna Pawar, Akash Waghmode, Yogesh Kamble and Gotu Gitte."
Accordingly, the police formed squads and arrested the suspects. Suspects Kush Pawar, Prasanna Pawar, Prakash Mandekar, Siraj Sheikh brought pistols from Madhya Pradesh and sold them in Maharashtra.
Out of those arrested, 26 suspects have been convicted and it has come to light that some of them have sold these weapons to seasoned criminals. The police tried to arrest the named suspect Shivkumar Murgan alias Bally, a resident of Dehuroad, but it was revealed to them that he was quarantined at home. He has now been issued a notice and will be arrested after his quarantine period ends.
As many as 42 pistols worth Rs 19.89 lakh and 66 live cartridges along with a four-wheeler were seized from them. Some of the arrested suspects have been booked in the various police stations and more weapons are being found.
The crime branch's (Unit-4) Senior Inspector of Police Mohan Shinde; Assistant Inspector of Police Ambrish Deshmukh; Police Staff Praveen Dale, Narayan Jadhav, Sanjay Gaware, Dharmaraj Awate, Dadabhau Pawar, Adinath Misal, Santosh Aswale, Tushar Shete, Laxman Adhari, Mohammad Gaus Nadaf, Vasudev Munde; the team of Shavarsiddha Pandhare, Prashant Raud, Sunil Gutte, Tushar Kale, Suresh Jayabhaye, Ajinath Ombase, Dhanaji Shinde, Sukhdev Gawande, Nagesh Mali and Rajendra Shete played a major role in this investigation.
Edited By Pranav Jalan