Officials of Crime Branch Unit XII yesterday arrested a trio for attacking 62-year-old builder Rajaram Manjawkar earlier this month. Fortunately, Manjawkar escaped unhurt despite four rounds fired at him. The case was handed over to Unit XII on June 1.
Assistant Police Inspector Vijay Kandalgaonkar received a tip-off that the accused would be coming near Charkop bus depot on Sunday. A trap was laid and the officials arrested Borivli resident Rajendra Mohansingh Raut alias Raju Nepali (32), Sunny Rajendra Sawant alias Snehal (23) of Charkop and Virendra Jadhav alias Veeru (18), who lives at the Borivli national park.
The officials recovered two pistols and four rounds from a particular location in the national park where the trio had stashed them. All three were remanded in police custody. During interrogation, officials learnt of a sharpshooter called Yusuf Bachkana, who is a Chhota Rajan aide.
Bachkana is serving his sentence at Hindalga Jail in Belgaum. He would meet Raut, his aide, whenever he was brought to city for court hearings. Here, Raut would allow him to use his cellphone. Officials said Raut was Manjawkar’s neighbour and it was he who informed Bachkana about Manjawkar’s financial status, following which the builder started receiving threat calls from Bachkana.
It was at Bachkana’s insistence that Raut fired at the builder to spook him so that he would pay them the extortion money, as the builder had refused to give in to their demands in the past. “Bachkana arranged for the pistols to be supplied while he was still in jail. He even made his extortion calls from the jail,” an official said.
Two unidentified assailants had fired at Manjawkar’s vehicle near Suvidya High School in Devi Pada in Borivli (E) on May 29. The incident took place a stone’s throw from the builder’s apartment after he left for office.
A resident of Sahyadri Complex, Manjawkar was travelling in a Skoda driven by his driver Dinesh Mandarkar (39). Manjawkar had recently undertaken a few slum rehabilitation projects in the area and had received an extortion call, wherein the caller claimed that he was calling on behalf of Bachkana, and threatened to kill him if he refused to pay.