Close on the heels of an attempt-to-murder case being filed on Monday against Omie Kalani, son of Ulhasnagar-based angster-turned-politician Suresh Budharmal Kalani alias Pappu, an associate of the gangster who went underground for 18 long years returned to the city and surrendered before the police yesterday.
Naresh Assandas Pehlajani (48) alias Naresh Chaddi, a resident of barracks no 879 of section 18 in Ulhasnagar-1 surrendered before the local police through court after hiding in Salem, Tamil Nadu.
According to the police, Chaddi has two cases registered against him at Ulhasnagar-1 police station, three cases at Central police station and five at Vitthalwadi police station.
Of the 10 cases, one is under TADA and another is for involvement in a bomb blast. He was arrested in three cases and is wanted in seven others.
Chaddi allegedly functioned on Kalani’s instructions and on July 10, 1992, both were booked in the Maruti Jadhav murder case.
Chaddi’s name came into the limelight in April 2010 after a text message was forwarded to BJP leader Eknath Khadse, and then Thane police commissioner Anil Dhere.
The SMS stated that he (Chaddi), was planning to plant bombs in the city.
Khadse raised the matter in the Assembly, prompting a high-level inquiry, but it was reportedly ascertained that Chaddi had not sent any such message. Chaddi’s brother Rajeev alleged shortly after that Kalani was behind sending the message.
Siddhartha Wagh, senior inspector, Ulhasnagar-1 police station, said, “We produced him in court on Tuesday and he was remanded in police custody till July 28.”
Kalani’s mobile was switched off despite repeated attempts to speak to him, and according to his personal assistant Manoj Lassi, he is currently unwell and has been advised bed rest.
Regarding Chaddi’s surrender, Lassi said, “Aise kitne chaddi-baniyan gang aaye aur gaye. Koi kuchh nahin kar sakta.”
How he got the nickname
According to a former member of Kalani’s gang, Naresh was often seen wearing shorts wherever he went. The name stuck after Sunita Rajwani, wife of former gangster Gopal Rajwani (now deceased) addressed Naresh as ‘Chaddi’.