Thane: A discharge application filed by Shyam Kishor Garikapatti, one of the accused in the infamous 1990 Ghanshyam Bhatija murder case, has been opposed by the prosecution.
Garikapatti, a Dawood Ibrahim gang member who was convicted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and is also involved in 18 other major crimes, filed a discharge application in Bhatija murder case a couple of months back. The case hearing was scheduled to begin on Monday, but as none of seven accused were present in the Kalyan court, Special Public Prosecutor Vikas Patil-Shirgaonkar filed an application seeking presence of all of them in the hearing.
In his argument before Additional Sessions Judge S P Gogarkar, Shirgaonkar opposed the discharge application filed by Garikapatti, saying why he did not file it along with the others accused earlier, when the case was transferred from Pune's TADA court to Kalyan court in Thane.
Garikapatti claimed that there is no evidence against him and that only his name is there in the case charge sheet. Therefore, he should be discharged, his application said. Garikapatti is accused in the murder case of Ghanshyam Bhatija, in which jailed former Ulhasnagar MLA Suresh alias Pappu Kalani is also an accused. Kalani and three others have already been convicted and awarded life sentence in the murder case of Ghanshyam's younger brother Inder Bhatija.
While Ghanshyam (35) was shot dead on February 27, 1990, his younger brother Inder (30) was gunned down two months later (on April 28). Both the murders had taken place in Ulhasnagar town in Thane district. Later, 23 years after the incident, on December 3, 2013, a sessions court in Kalyan convicted Kalani and three others -- Baba Gabriel, Bacchi Pande and Arshad Mohammed Tahir -- in the Inder Bhatija murder case and sentenced all of them to life imprisonment.
Two others -- Narendra Ramsinghani and Richard Fernandes -- were acquitted due to lack of evidence. Kalani, Gabriel, Pande, Arshad, Ramsinghani, Fernandes and Garikapatti are accused in Ghanshyam Bhatija murder case. Garikapatti, originally from Pune and associated with the D-gang for the last two decades, was arrested in February this year from a village near Panaji in Goa, where he was hiding for the last eight years.
The gangster, known by his street name 'Black Scorpion' had jumped parole in 2003 and since then had been on the run before being caught in February. He was also allegedly involved in the JJ hospital shootout in the early 90s involving the rival gangs of Dawood Ibrahim and Arun Gawli.
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