Underworld Gangster Ravi Pujari Back In Bengaluru, Sent To Police Custody

Ravi Pujari is accused of over a dozen murders and of making threats and extortion calls to businessmen - particularly those in real estate - and film personalities.

Ravi Pujari will be in police custody till March 7

Bangalore:

In the early hours of Monday morning, Ravi Pujari, fugitive for decades, accused of murder and extortion, returned to Bengaluru in the custody of Karnataka police. The team and the man who had been on the run for decades landed at the city's international airport. Pujari was picked up in Senegal by a five member team of police from Bengaluru headed by senior police officer Amar Kumar Pandey.

Ravi Pujari will be in police custody till March 7.

Mr Pandey told NDTV that the process of extradition was smooth, despite there being no extradition treaty between India and Senegal. A Red Corner notice had been issued against Pujari.

Pujari, who started his life of crime in Karnataka before moving to Mumbai, is accused of a staggering number of serious crimes. He is accused of over a dozen murders and of making threats and extortion calls to businessmen - particularly those in real estate - and film personalities.

"There are more than 97 cases in Karnataka alone, and even more in Maharashtra," Mr Pandey told NDTV.

He has been on the run since 1994 - police say he moved from Mumbai to Nepal, Bangkok, Uganda and Burkina Faso before ending up in Senegal.

Ravi Pujari has been renamed Antony Fernandes by Chhota Rajan - and he later changed it to Tony Fernandes and then Rocky Fernandes - the name in his latest fake passport, police said. When asked if Pujari had come back to India in between at any time, the senior officer said, "He decided to come to India only with us," adding that while Pujari was initially very tense, later became more comfortable.

Mr Pandey said when Pujari asked the police officers if they had come from India, he replied saying, "You asked us to come!" He said Pujari cooperated fully during the journey back to his home state.

The top cop said that Pujari had been a 'respectable citizen' in Burkina Faso and Senegal.

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