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Five held in shopping mall firing case

Five history-sheeters were arrested in connection with Tuesday’s firing incident at a shopping mall in Dadar in central Mumbai.

The accused were identified as Mukund Gadigaokar (31), Santosh Bhalekar (28), Rajesh Mewati (30), Ganesh Gore alias Ganya (22) and Anil Dhilod alias Anna (27). A revolver, three cartridges and a car were recovered from them, police said.

According to police, Gadigaokar and Bhalekar are the main accused in the case and one of them had fired two rounds inside Dadar’s Cosmos Mall, in which nobody was hurt.

“One of them entered the shopping mall and approached a mall employee named Hanumant Jagtap (45),” police said adding that the accused fired at Jagtap and told him to inform a person named Jayesh to call one Sandeep.

“The investigators have come to know that between 2013 and 2014, the accused had threatened a Dadar-based builder and extorted Rs 22 lakh from him,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti said.

At that time, the builder had been threatened by the accused, who had identified himself as Sandeep Patil, said DCP (Zone V) Mahesh Patil adding that the victim got scared for his life and did not approach police.

“Recently, the gang members again contacted the builder and threatened to extort money,” police said.

The builder, however, did not respond to the threatening calls, police said. “Therefore, in a bid to send him a strong message, one of the accused fired two rounds inside the mall on Tuesday,” the DCP said.

However, police are yet to find out why they chose the mall for firing.

All the five accused, who have several criminal cases registered against them in the city, have been booked under relevant sections of the IPC as well as the Arms Act, police said.

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