Pune: Despite an inter-district travel ban in place during the lockdown, Pune Police have traced travel history and location of absconding RTI activist Ravindra Barhate to Panvel, Lonavala and Solapur. Three aides of Barhate have also been arrested on charges of helping the suspect abscond and they have been remanded to police custody for eight days.
The three arrested suspects have been identified as Vishal Shivaji Dhore (36), Aslam Manzur Pathan (24), both residents of Manjari in Hadapsar and Siddharth Mahindra Dangi (28), resident of Utkarsh Society in Katraj. Barhate and another suspect Amol Chavan are still absconding, while dismissed cop Shailesh Jagtap, journalist Devendra Jain, a woman named Deepti Aher have been granted bail in the case filed by builder Sudhir Karnataki at Kothrud police station. Barhate’s anticipatory bail has been rejected by a District and Session Court of Pune.
Also read: Pune: More cases of extortion registered against RTI activist Ravindra Barhate and dismissed cops Shailesh Jagtap, Parvez Jamadar
Investigations have revealed that Dhore, Pathan and Dangi helped Barhate by procuring a new SIM card for him. The trio met Barhate at Laxmi colony on July 8 and took Barhate to Solapur. Barhate was hiding at one Amol Nagarse’s home and later he travelled to Lonavala and Panvel. Police arrested and produced the three suspects in a court on Tuesday and demanded their 10 days police custody. Police told the court that they have to seize the vehicles used by the trio to take Barhate to different locations to escape from police.
Meanwhile, Shailesh Jagtap and his accomplice Prakash Phale have been remanded to police custody for two days in the case filed by one Satyabhama Chandgude (40) from Chikhali at the Khadak police station. The bail application of the suspects in connection with this case was filed in the court on Monday (July 20) and the Public Prosecutor filed their say on Tuesday. The next hearing for this bail application has been fixed on Friday (July 24).
Pune police is also thinking about invoking the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against all the suspects for their involvement in several crimes in furtherance of a common intention for pecuniary gains.