Several roads in Kothrud like Paud Road, Chandani Chowk and Karve Nagar areas witnessed huge posters and hoardings wishing dreaded criminal Gajanan Marne alias ‘Maharaj’ for his birthday. The local goon’s supporters did not even spare commercial advertisement hoardings and pasted their messages over them to show their loyalty to the goon.
As soon as Commissioner of Police Gulabrao Pol got to know about the matter, he called up the concerned DCPs and asked for cases to be lodged against the violators under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Marne has over 15 serious cases, including murder, attempt to murder, extortion, kidnapping, rioting and arms and body offences lodged against him at various police stations in the city. His wife Jayashri Marne is the sitting corporator in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) from the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena representing Shastrinagar ward in Kothrud.
“I have instructed the Kothrud police station to take stern action against the well-wishers of Marne, who had put up such huge posters. I also asked them to remove all the hoardings. I have instructed the DCPs to contact the PMC officials and find out whether the necessary permission was taken before erecting posters in the area. If permission was not taken, then action will be taken,” Pol said.
He warned of stern action against anyone with a criminal background or their followers trying to put up such ‘birthday wishes’ in the city. Ramesh Shelar, in-charge of the encroachment department of the PMC, said that he has instructed all ward officers to take cognisance of the matter and initiate action against those involved in putting up the posters and hoardings.
A few months ago, the anti-organised crime cell had prepared a list of birthdays of around 250 anti-social elements in Kothrud and adjoining localities, and used to call those listed a day before to warn them against putting up hoardings.
Senior Police Inspector Ganpat Madgul of AOCC, said, “In the morning, our people saw the posters and we immediately summoned him (Marne) to the office and asked him to remove them.” According to the official, most of the posters had been removed from areas in Kothrud by the evening.
“Henceforth, our sleuths would be keeping a watch on the ‘hoarding war’ in the city and the goons and their supporters will be under the scanner of our cell,” Madgulkar said.
Dy CM’s warning
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar alerted the police and the PMC to take strict action against the ‘hoarding menace’ and asked the officials to lodge criminal cases against those who try to please their leaders by putting up posters to convey their ‘birthday wishes’.