Bengaluru, Feb 23, 2020: A team from Karnataka Police is in Senegal for completing the extradition process of gangster Ravi Pujari. Other than Karnataka police, R&AW officers are also assisting the police team, sources in the know of development told Agencies.
This after the Supreme Court of Senegal rejected plea filed by underworld don Ravi Pujari against his extradition/ deportation to India. Pujari has exhausted a legal option.
Pujari has an Interpol red corner notice issued against him and faces at least 200 cases in India, including for extortion and murder. He also faces dozens of cases for threatening Bollywood and Sandalwood stars and a prominent industrialist. Sources say he was living under the assumed name of Anthony Fernandes and claimed to be a Burkina Faso citizen.
There are 39 cases against Pujari in Bengaluru alone, including the murders of Shailaja and Ravi of Shabnam Developers on February 15, 2007, police said. He has 36 cases against him in Mangaluru, 11 in Udupi, and one each in Mysuru, Hubballi-Dharwad, Kolar and Shivamogga, police said.
According to Karnataka Police, Pujari had been living with a new identity in Senegal, had got a Burkina Faso passport for himself and his family and ran a chain of restaurants in some West African nations. He had obtained a new identity as Antony Fernadez.
Pujari, who had been on the run for more than 20 years, was arrested by the Senegal Police in Dakar in January 2019. On January 19, 2019, the Senegal Police had received a tip-off about Pujari’s presence in a barbershop, following which they arrested him from the spot. However, after being granted bail by a local court, he jumped the bail and fled the west African nation.
Last year, the Karnataka Police had said in a statement, "Being a dreaded criminal and always afraid of his identity getting exposed, he ran away from Burkina Faso in 2019 and his track was lost thereafter. Pujari had hired shooters to attack his targets to create a scare, police said, adding, people used to pay up out of fear."
According to the police, Pujari, who hails from Karnataka, was initially associated with gangster Chhota Rajan, but he had also worked for fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Pujari reportedly parted ways with Rajan following an attack on the latter in Bangkok, said to be carried out by the Dawood gang, and formed his own gang. Like Rajan, Pujari too tried to project himself as a ’Hindu don’, and allegedly killed some of the accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case when they were out on bail.
He was known for threatening builders and celebrities for extortion. Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt had told Mumbai Police that Pujari threatened him, following which some members of his gang were arrested for conspiring to kill Bhatt. Advocate Shahid Azmi, who was shot dead in 2010, had alleged that the Pujari gang had threatened him for representing terror accused.