Old habits die hard. A complaint by BMC contractor Dhiraj Gohil suggests that erstwhile underworld don Ashwin Naik has not let go of his arm-twisting days.
NM Joshi Marg police have registered a case against Naik for allegedly assaulting Gohil.
NOT DON(E) YET? Dhiraj Gohil, with his wife, holds up a copy of the non-cognisable offence initially registered by cops against (inset) Ashwin Naik. An FIR was lodged later
Cops said that post November 2000, this is the first case to be registered against the gangster turned developer.
The 37-year-old victim is also demanding police protection.
According to cops, Gohil, a resident of Prabhu Niwas, Sane Guruji Marg, Lower Parel was called by Naik on Friday at his office at Subhash Nagar, NM Joshi Marg, and later beaten up and threatened by his men.
“My cousin sister Purnima Ramesh Boricha had approached Naik after which his men thrashed me and asked me to pay Rs 15 lakh to her,” Gohil alleged.
According to the victim, about a year ago he had shown Purnima a room at Saat Raasta, which she purchased for Rs 15 lakh.
A few months later the room was demolished by BMC but the owner Ramesh Bansode rebuilt it and gave the possession to Purnima.
Since the premises were in controversy, Purnima began pressurising Gohil to recover her money. Gohil assured to take the room off her hands and asked for two months to make the payment. Meanwhile, Bansode too promised Purnima that he would return her money.
Gohil then suggested they settle the matter between themselves. But, after not getting her money for some time, Purnima allegedly approached Ashwin Naik.
On Friday, Gohil was contacted by one Dinesh Dhondia who said that Naik had called him to the office. When Gohil reached the Subhash Nagar office, Naik was sitting on a wheelchair and was surrounded by around 15 people.
“Naik firstly asked me to pay Rs 15 lakh to my sister Purnima. When I told him what the matter was and asked him to call Purnima he told her to come over and then in her presence started abusing me. One of his men caught hold of my hair and banged my head on a desk. They also slapped me a few times. I told them this was a family matter and I was leaving. They tried to stop me but I somehow managed to get out,” said Gohil.
Gohil then went to NM Joshi Marg police station and requested the cops to register an FIR against Naik and his aides.
The victim claims the police took around seven hours and finally registered a non-cognisable offence.
“I then approached the additional commissioner of police, central region, Vineet Agarwal, who then ordered the senior police inspector of NM Joshi Marg police station to register an FIR against Naik,” said Gohil.
The order was complied with, but Gohil wasn’t satisfied. “They have registered an FIR under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention). But they have not included section 384 (extortion), which is a non-bailable offence. Surprisingly, while I was in the process of getting the FIR registered, Naik’s lawyer had already made an appearance at the police station to check what the complaint was. This gives a clear indication that the cops are hand-in-glove with the criminal,” he told MiD DAY. “We have registered a case against Naik and Gohil’s sister Purnima and will add the section of extortion also,” said Vinod Kalekar, sub-inspector from NM Joshi Marg police station. “When will the police arrest them? I need police protection as my life is under threat. I have two young daughters,” said Gohil.
An electronic engineer by qualification, Ashwin Naik took over the gang run by his brother Amar Naik, who was gunned down by police in an encounter in the 1990s. While in jail, Naik was accused of plotting to kill his wife Neeta, a corporator, whom he suspected of having an extramarital affair with her police bodyguard Laxman Ziman. She was gunned down by two assailants outside her home on November 13, 2000. Naik was later acquitted of the charges. He was disabled after being shot from close range by former don Arun Gawli’s shooter Ravindra Sawant outside the Sessions Court on April 18, 1994.