The weapons and cash recovered from the three accused
The weapons and cash recovered from the three accused

The Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) of the Mumbai crime branch has arrested three members of underworld don Suresh Pujari's gang, who allegedly orchestrated two shootouts in Ulhasnagar and Nalasopara over the last fortnight, in extortion bids.

The three arrested accused have been identified as Sudhakar Khristopriya (52), Raj Chauhan (25) and Ali Abbas Khan (27). Khristopriya hails from Surat and had trained Chauhan and Khan from Vile Parle and Kurla, respectively, on how to use firearms.

According to the police, the three were detained by a team led by senior inspector Vinayak Vast from Kurla (West) on specific information. "During questioning, it was revealed that they belong to Suresh Pujari's gang. A 7.65mm pistol, two magazines, eight live cartridges, R2.5 lakh in cash, two cell phones and two stolen bikes were recovered from the arrested accused," said Dilip Sawant, deputy commissioner of police (detection).

During interrogation, the three admitted their roles in the recent shootouts in Ulhasnagar and Nalasopara. In Ulhasnagar, on April 27, the accused had fired at a wine shop owner. In the Nalasopara incident, a captain of a fine dining restaurant-cum-hotel, Galaxy family restaurant, was shot at by the accused.

The three accused have been arrested under the Arms Act.