Just days after it apprehended a former D-Company gangster Nadeem Mistry, Crime Branch (Unit-IX) nabbed another wanted gangster from Pratiksha Nagar last morning. The arrested gangster has been identified as Ganesh Bhilare (45), a close aide of Chhota Shakeel.

Wadala police had been hunting for Bhilare for his involvement in a 1993 murder case, which opened D-Company doors for him. After the gang split, between Rajan and Dawood, Bhilare stayed with the D-Company. Bhilare also acted as a hitman for Shakeel in 2007, when he and his accomplice Devegoda opened fire at a south Mumbai businessman. While Devegoda was nabbed at the spot, Bhilare managed to escape. Moreover, Bhilare has three different cases registered against him under the Arms Act.

Crime Branch had arrested Bhilare, Mohammad Hussain Sheikh, and goon-turned-politician Amin Shaikh (Congress) for allegedly hatching a plot to murder the relative of a BJP MLA from Mawal in Pune. Following apprehension in 2014 for hatching the plot, Bhilare was handed over to the Pune police for further investigation. After securing bail in the case, Bhilare missed all his court appearances, thus prompting the court to order a manhunt to nab him. A few days ago, Senior Inspector Mahesh Desai (Unit-IX) received a tip-off that Bhilare visits Pratiksha Nagar at a particular time every day. A trap was laid and he was arrested yesterday morning. Prima facie investigation revealed Bhilare has been working as a driver for a private firm after jumping bail.

Courier boy act
Narrating Mistry’s apprehension, sources from the Crime Branch claimed officers posed as courier boys to ascertain his identity and nab him. They claimed cops worked hard to collate information about Mistry’s whereabouts and zeroed in on his residence in Vadodara. To ensure that it was the same accused they had been looking for, cops visited his residence by posing as courier boys. However, it was Mistry’s mother who answered the door and told them that he would be returning from Rajasthan after three days. Cops said they would visit after three days when the old lady offered to receive the parcel on her son’s behalf. When the cops visited the residence after three days, it was Mistry who answered the door this time. After ensuring that he was the D-Company gangster they had been looking for, Mistry was apprehended. An officer revealed that Mistry suffers from blood cancer and is likely to secure bail on medical grounds.