Pune: Right to Information (RTI) Activist Ravindra Barhate, who is absconding in connection with several extortion cases in Pune city, has now been booked in a bike theft case by Lonavala rural police.
Santosh Rajaram Giri (39), a resident of Devale village in Maval taluka has filed a complaint in this regard. According to the complainant, Giri and Barhate know each other since the past few years. Barhate had called Giri on July 11 at around 4.30 am. Barhate told Giri that his bike had some problem and he is coming to Giri's home. Barhate reached Giri's home and later took his bike to reach a location where a car was parked. Barhate had told Giri that his bike will be returned by the car driver immediately. But. neither Barhate nor his driver showed up. Police Inspector Sandeep Ghorpade is investigating the case.
Despite a strict lockdown and inter-district travel banned in the state, Barhate has been absconding since July 8 and his locations were traced at Solapur, Lonavala and Panvel. Barhate's anticipatory bail application was rejected by District and Sessions Judge SN Sonawane on Friday (July 10). Police had arrested his three aides who helped him flee from Pune despite travel restrictions during the lockdown period in the city.
Sinhgad Technical Education Society’s President Maruti Navale had recently lodged an extortion complaint against Barhate at the Deccan police station. Earlier builder Sudhir Karnataki and Rishikesh Bartakke had filed extortion complaints against Barhate at Kothrud and Samarth police station.
Apart from these cases, Barhate has five cases registered against him at several police stations in the city. Pune police are also thinking about applying the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Barhate and his accomplices including dismissed cops Shailesh Jagtap, Parvez Jamadar and Journalist Devendra Jain and others for their involvement in several crimes in furtherance of a common intention for pecuniary gains.