Datta Wagre (27) was the mastermind of a shoot-out at the office of a Mangalore-based builder; he took a supari of Rs 50,000 from gangster Ravi Pujari and sent two shooters to intimidate the realtor while he masqueraded as a bouncer in Trilogy pub at Hotel Sea Princess
A bouncer working at Trilogy, a popular nightclub located at Sea Princess hotel, Juhu, was arrested by Mangalore police for his role in a shootout in Mangalore last month.
A team of Mangalore Crime Branch officers arrested Wagre (inset) last week. File pics
A team of Mangalore City Crime Branch (CCB) officials, headed by inspector Valentine D’souza, arrested 27-year-old Datta alias Dattatreya Tukaram Wagre last Wednesday after his name cropped up during investigations.
According to Mangalore police, Datta is allegedly the mastermind behind the firing incident at a builder’s office in Bejai, Mangalore on March 10 wherein two assailants walked in and opened fire. The attack was aimed at builder Loknath Shetty and was scripted by Datta at the behest of underworld don Ravi Pujari.
Datta, a native of Karad taluka in Satara, worked on a temporary basis at Trilogy, according to the management, and had been working there for the past few months. The arrest has raised questions on the recruitment process of bouncers which, judging by the incident, has been carried out without any background checks.
“He (Datta) was working on temporary basis. We were not aware of his activities. We, however, follow all the recruitment procedures required under the law,” said, Cedric Dickson, manager of Trilogy Lounge.
Sources revealed that Wagre’s name cropped up during the interrogation of the alleged shooters —Ganesh Laxman Saket (26) and Mukesh Shivaji Kambli (26), both from Satara — who were arrested by police on March 24. (Police later recovered a two-wheeler, pistol and three live rounds used for the crime from the duo)
Following the information, a team of CCB officials made their way to Mumbai and apprehended Wagre for his role in the incident. Mangalore police said Datta was offered Rs 50,000 for the operation, after which he recruited the shooters for the job. The cops did not reveal how much was paid to the assailants.
Police have also arrested Abubakker Siddique of Mudipu, Nitin Kumar of Karkala and Guruprasanna of Salethur, all aides of Ravi Pujari, in connection with the case. They were involved in collecting information and making threat calls to the builder on behalf of the don.
Mumbai police unaware
Senior police inspector Arun Chavan of Santacruz police station, under whose jurisdiction the nightclub comes, said, “Bouncers are not supposed to be registered with us. Also no one from the Mangalore police has contacted us, seeking our help to make any arrests in our jurisdiction.”
According to the Mangalore police, on March 10 at around 11 am, two motorcycle-borne miscreants entered the office of Bharathi Builders and Developers near Anegudi on Bejai New Road and asked for the firm’s owner Lokanath Shetty, as they wanted to hand over a letter to him. The staff denied permission, saying they would themselves give the letter, as Shetty was not coming into office that day. As they were speaking, a gun in the possession of one of the two men misfired, and the duo fled. Following the broad daylight incident, the Mangalore police commissioner, R Hithendra, formed a special team to track them down.