On June 24, Republic Media Network accessed the latest pictures of India's most wanted gangster and underworld don Ravi Pujari. Pujari is imprisoned in West Africa's Senegal. He was arrested on January 21, 2019. The kingpin has been allegedly running his extortion racket from there with impunity.
About Ravi Pujari:
Fifty-eight year-old Ravi Pujari was born in Malpe village of Udupi district in Karnataka. He had a modest upbringing in Mumbai. His father was working in a shipping company and died five years ago. His mother and sisters are based out of Delhi.
Entry into the crime world:
Pujari entered the world of crime when in Mumbai's Andheri in the early 1990s. He was recruited by Chota Rajan aide Shrikant Desai in the late 1980s. But he began his own gang after parting ways with Rajan.
He used to run his extortion racket from Mumbai as well as Bengaluru and Mangaluru.
He was known to target Muslim businessmen for extortion saying he was doing it for a cause, but cops have said that he would target Hindu and Muslim equally.
Key allegations and cases against Pujari:
He has been lying dormant for five years but was chargesheeted in 2007 for the shoot-out against realty firm Shabnam Developers in which two people were killed. This was followed by a shoot-out at HML Shipping in Mangaluru in 2008 against a businessman for not paying hafta. His henchmen had also allegedly carried out shoot-out at Bollywood production company UTV’s office in 2009, and at the office of Mantri Developers in 2010. Both the incidents took place in Bengaluru.
In 2009, his henchmen allegedly murdered lawyer Naushad Kashimji, advocate for Rashid Malabari, a sharpshooter and an alleged associate of Chhota Shakeel.
In 2015, he had allegedly threatened two Karnataka ministers K Abhaychandra Jain and Ramanath Rai, both from Dakshina Kannada. He had allegedly threatened to kill them saying that they had been protecting the murderers of Bajrang Dal worker Prashanth Pujari who was killed a few days before the call. In 2018, he allegedly made threat calls and sent SMSes to then Education Minister Tanveer Sait demanding Rs 10 crore.