Mumbai, May 19, 2019: The Indian government is pressing the Senegal authorities to deport gangster Ravi Pujari, who was arrested there, as the extradition process is getting delayed.
Mumbai police sources said ministry of external affairs (MEA) has also opened a dialogue with the Senegal authorities through diplomatic channels. Officials said there are cordial relations between the two countries since Senegal gained independence from France in 1960.
“MEA is trying to convince the Senegal authorities that Pujari is a notorious Indian gangster wanted for more than 100 serious offences. Once they are convinced, he will be deported in no time,” an IPS officer said.
Pujari, arrested in February, had challenged his extradition, claiming that he is actually Anthony Fernandes, a national of Burkina Faso (around 1,400km from Senegal), before the Senegal court. It can lead to a long legal battle, like that of Chhota Shakeel aide Munna Zingada, which is pending before a Thai court since 2015. While India is trying to prove Zingada is Indian, Shakeel allegedly showed forged documents claiming that he is a Pakistani.
While extradition is a process to make someone return for trial to another country or state where they have been accused of doing something illegal, deportation is the process of expelling a foreigner from a country where he is present illegally. The person is sent back to the country he came from or his native country. In the late 2000s, several criminals were deported from UAE, and Rajendra Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan was deported from Indonesia in 2015.
The police have sent a dossier on Pujari, listing 49 serious offences, including, murder, shoot-outs, threats and extortion.
Pujari, mentored by gangster Chhota Rajan, is wanted in India for extortion, kidnapping and murder. He started off as a petty criminal and graduated to big crime with the killing of Bala Zalte, a rival, and went on to join Chhota Rajan.. After the fall of other gangs, Pujari has been running an extortion racket and has been threatening several Bollywood personalities, including Mahesh Bhatt and Farah Khan, hoteliers and businessmen in Mumbai, Gujarat and Karnataka, police said.