After teasing the cops for three months, Ramchandra Chatri, main accused in the plot to extort money from Bollywood star Salman Khan's lawyer Dipesh Mehta, gave himself up to police
The Mumbai police failed to get their hands on Ramchandra Chatri, who had allegedly been threatening Salman Khan’s lawyer Dipesh Mehta for the past three months. Instead, Chatri himself surrendered to the Bandra police yesterday.
Ramchandra Chatri, had been an informant for 15 years
mid-day had carried a front page report on how Chatri, a former police informant of 15 years, had been playing a game of cat-and-mouse with the cops (‘Police set 4 traps, but can’t nab their own informant’, January 17).
mid-day’s report on the case on January 17
He had openly challenged the cops to come get him. However, the police had missed him every single time. He had been issuing death threats to Mehta, asking him to pay up, saying that if he didn’t, one Azad gang would kill him.
This paper has reported on his threats regularly. Police sources said that for the last two days, Chatri was calling Mehta several times and promised to surrender after Mehta paid for his father’s cancer treatment.
'Almost a family member'
Both Chatri’s parents were employed by Mehta; his mother is still the house help and the lawyer has seen Chatri grow up in front of him. Mehta has been regularly paying his father’s medical bills.
Speaking to this reporter on the phone, Chatri said, “I am innocent and have been made a scapegoat in this case. I’m surrendering so that the truth comes out.”
Advocate Mehta told this paper, “I’ve been living under extreme pressure. He sent me serious threats; it was really shocking as he was like a family member. I underwent mental trauma. However, I will still help his parents.
I believed in myself even when the police failed and he has now surrendered. I thank mid-day for their coverage that put pressure as well.” An official from the Bandra police station confirmed that Chhatri had surrendered to the police.
>> On December 16, Chatri sent a bouquet with live cartridges, along with a message asking for R2 crore from Mehta. While his two alleged accomplices were caught by the police, Chatri remained at large. He sent a bouquet again a month later, in the name of Azad gang
>> He has been regularly calling Mehta, asking for money and threatening to shoot him or kill him with a hand grenade
>> He claimed to know all police tricks and said that the cops couldn’t catch him. The Crime Branch, Property Cell, and several teams of the Bandra police had been after him
>> Slipped past the cops at Hill Road and Carter Road in Bandra and Podar School in Santacruz (W)
>> Wanted the lawyer to give him Rs 2 crore
>> Had been issuing death threats to Mehta for the past 3 months
>> Gave police the slip four times in the past