10 members of Ravi Pujari gang sentenced to 5-yr jail for plotting to kill Mahesh Bhatt
Ten members of the Ravi Pujari gang were sentenced to five years in jail by a special court on Wednesday for conspiring to kill filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and his family members in 2014.
According to Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat, Judge Shridhar Bhosle of the special court held the 10 men guilty under section 120B of the IPC (criminal conspiracy) and relevant provisions of the Arms Act and acquitted two others.
The special court was hearing the case as all 12 accused were booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in addition to IPC and Arms Act. Judge Bhosle, however, acquitted all men of the MCOCA charges.
As many as 47 witnesses were examined during the trial.
The Mumbai police had arrested the 12 members of the Pujari gang in 2014, before the plot to kill Bhatt could be executed.
Ishrat Sheikh, Mohammad Hasnat Khan, Azim Khan, Ashpak Sayyed, Asif Khan, Shahnawaz Sheikh, Firoz Sayyed, Shabir Sheikh, Rahim Khan and Anis Merchant were the ten men convicted for illegal possession of weapons under the Arms Act and for hatching the conspiracy.
The remaining two, Ravikesh Singh and Yusuf Kadri, were acquitted.
Notorious gangster Ravi Pujari and another man, who could not be arrested during the course of the trial, were shown as absconding accused in the case.
According to the prosecution, Pujari wanted to revive his gang in Mumbai by targeting Bhatt or his brother Mukesh, also a filmmaker, or Bhatt’s son Rahul. The gangster’s current whereabouts are not known.