The arrests were made yesterday afternoon. The suspects have been identified as Rajesh Ashok Gujar (21), Anil Salunkhe (20) Prakash Shinde (27) Amar Raghu Temghare (19) and Madan Surve (19), all residents of Sutardara in Kothrud.
The police officials said that Gujar is Mohol’s cousin. They also suspect that all the accused were acting as per Mohol’s directions, who is currently cooling heels in Yerawda jail, accused of killing terror suspect Qateel Siddiqui. They also suspect that Mohol masterminded the extortion bid.
“On July 2, the builder had received a call from these suspects. One of the suspects had threatened him of dire consequences and demanded Rs 25 lakh. He also told him that his cousin Sharad Mohol has asked them to extort money from him,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Anant Shinde said.
The builder immediately approached the AEC and a team of officials led by Senior Police Inspector Sachin Sawant swung into action, and started tracing the calls. “We blocked the SIM card, using which the suspects had been calling the builder, and it forced them to buy a new one. The reason behind blocking the old SIM card was that we were not able to trace the number,” Sawant said. “As expected, the suspects immediately bought a new SIM and called the builder.
While speaking to him, they told the builder that they doubted his involvement in blocking the card, and that he had contacted the police. They threatened him that if he blocks their SIM card again, they would shoot him in broad daylight.” Sawant said that Gujar, who was making all these calls, was extremely abusive over the phone and had asked the builder to arrange for cash at his earliest. “He even threatened him that if any of the gang members is arrested in this case, the extortion amount will be doubled, and the builder’s family would be in jeopardy,” Sawant said. The AEC team, which had been tracing the calls constantly, zeroed down on the suspects location yesterday afternoon and nabbed them.
Sawant said the builder had been working on a couple of projects in Kothrud. Since the suspects were from the same area, they decided to extort money from him. During interrogation, the police officials discovered that Gujar had gone to meet Mohol in the Yerawada jail and was accompanied by Mohol’s wife. The officials are now suspecting that in Mohol’s absence Gujar was trying to run the gang.