Wanted-gangster Ravi Pujari, who was arrested in South Africa and extradited to India on Monday, has been sent to police custody till March 7 by a Bengaluru court. While sentencing Pujari to police custody, First Additional City Magistrate V Jagdish, said that there should be no interference in the investigations and has also directed the police to record the interrogation process.
On a run for 15 years, Pujari was extradited from Senegal on February 22 pursuant to an extradition request made by India in early 2019. Pujari who is wanted in India for over 200 cases of serious crime including murder and extortion was brought to India by a team of senior officials and arrived at the Kempegowda International Airport in Karnataka.
Earlier in the day, Additional Director-General of Police Amar Kumar Pandey had informed that Pujari is physically fit and the questioning will begin from tomorrow. Furthermore, he added that Pujari is supporting police in the investigation and answering all questions.
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 has 39 cases against gangster in Bengaluru, 36 cases in Mangalore, 11 in Udupi, and one each in Mysuru, Hubli-Dharwad, Kolar, and Shivamogga.
Mumbai Police has a total of 49 cases against him 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. He ran three restaurants in Senegal.
The fugitive gangster, supposedly mentored by Chhota Rajan, 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.