Bhiwandi hotel firing: Gangster Suresh Pujari, shooters booked for extorting owner

Jan 12, 2018, 08:25 IST | Faisal Tandel

Probe has revealed that gangster Suresh Pujari has been trying to extort Rs 25 lakh from one of the owners of the Bhiwandi hotel for the last two years

The Bhiwandi hotel where the incident took place
The Bhiwandi hotel where the incident took place

A day after two masked men barged into KN Park Hotel on the Bhiwandi-Kalyan highway and shot at the receptionist, the Kongaon police have booked them and gangster Suresh Pujari in the case. Investigation has revealed that one of the owners of the hotel was receiving extortion calls from Pujari. The gangster had demanded Rs 25 lakh from him. When he refused to pay and stopped responding to his calls, Pujari hired the shooters to threaten him.

A CCTV grab shows one of the shooters firing at the receptionist
A CCTV grab shows one of the shooters firing at the receptionist

Extortion calls
According to the police, complainant Suresh Shetty, 46, and his partner Prakash Shetty, jointly own the hotel. Prakash has been receiving the extortion calls from Pujari for the last two years. "Prakash had given a written complaint about the same to the Hill Line police station in Ulhasnagar and had even informed the Anti-Extortion Cell about it. The number from which the calls were being made is an international one," said an officer.

The victim, identified as Swara Ramchandra Shirsat, 25, was operating the computer at the reception when the duo entered the hotel and fired at her. According to sources, Shirsat is in-charge of organising events on the first floor. Priya Shinde, who actually works at the reception, was absent. Hence, Shirsat was looking after the work. The victim, who received injuries on her right leg, is currently undergoing treatment at Ved Hospital.

Case against gangster
Speaking to mid-day, Mangesh Sawant, senior inspector, said, "We have registered a case against three people, including Pujari, under sections 385, 387, 452, 307 and 34 of the IPC and relevant sections of the Arms Act and the Maharashtra Police Act. Further investigation into the matter is on." The Anti-Extortion Cell and Bhiwandi Crime Branch are conducting a parallel probe in the matter. "The shooters were hired by Pujari to threaten the hotelier. The gangster has been involved in such incidents in the past," said a crime branch officer.

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