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Man arrested for extortion threat


Thane: A 28-year-old man has been arrested here in connection with an extortion threat given to a Naupada resident, who received an SMS purportedly from an aide of fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari demanding Rs 20 lakh, police said today.

Darasingh alias Tara Harishankar Patel, hailing from Dativali Diva was apprehended from Korum Mall here on April 1 after a mobile was seized from his possession and was found to contain threat messages. The messages were sent to 60-year-old Narayan Gajanan Lavande from Naupada, Sr Police Inspector N T Kadam of Anti-Extortion Cell told.

The police also recovered newspaper cuttings from him on the arrest of Pujari’s accomplices Aniket Jadhav, Abhishek Salve and Bharat Dev.

Besides, Patel was carrying a slip which had the extortion amount of Rs 20 lakh scribbled on it, police said.

Police is investigating Patel to trace his links to Pujari and the message trail.

Lavande had received atleast a dozen threat messages from a local number between March 23 and March 31 on different occasions wherein the messenger identified himself as an aide of Pujari and demanded Rs 20 lakh from him to allegedly bail out the gangster’s accomplices from jail, his complaint said.

Thane Police had registered offences earlier this week under sections 385, 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of IPC and also 66 (F) of the IT Act, after Lavande lodged a complaint.

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