Fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari has been arrested in South Africa and being brought to India by a team of officials. On a run for 15 years, Pujari was arrested in West Africa's Senegal. Senior IPS officers from Karnataka will be bringing the underworld don to India. Pujari is wanted in several cases including extortion and murder. He is likely to reach India by Monday morning.
Police officials in an official statement said, "We are coming with him from Senegal. Now in Paris. We are coming by Air France and (would be) there (in India) by midnight." Previously, the gangster was supposedly hiding in Australia.
A team from Karnataka police was in Senegal to complete the extradition process. This comes after the Supreme Court of Senegal rejected a plea filed by Ravi Pujari against his extradition to India. Karnataka police have 39 cases against Pujari in Bengaluru, 36 cases in Mangalore, 11 in Udupi, and one each in Mysuru, Hubli-Dharwad, Kolar, and Shivamogga. Mumbai police have a total of 49 cases against Pujari of which, 26 cases are under the stringent MCOCA. In Gujarat, there are around 75 cases of extortion registered against Pujari.
One of the most notorious names in the underworld, Pujari shuffled between Thailand, Malaysia, Morocco and later headed to West African countries of Burkina Faso, DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Senegal. Pujari ran three restaurants in Senegal. He was infamous for being a Bollywood extortionist.
The fugitive gangster, supposedly mentored by Chhota Rajan, Ravi Pujari ran the hotel chain in West Africa's Senegal under the name of Antony Fernandes for close to 8 years. Eventually, Pujari became the right hand of Chhota Rajan. In 2000, Dawood Ibrahim reportedly attempted to take Pujari's life in Bangkok.
As per sources, he has been in Africa for over a decade where he was living a luxurious life with his wife and kids as a hotelier in Dakar. He was arrested from a barbershop on January 21, 2019. In 2019, former JNU student Umar Khalid, Shehla Rashid and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani had allegedly received death threats from the gangster.
(with PTI inputs)