Two of the eleven alleged gang members of fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari, held in connection with a plot to attack film producer brothers Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt, confessed to have hatched the conspiracy to kill them, police claimed.
“We have recorded the confessional statements of two of the arrested accused in a case pertaining to plotting to carry out a deadly attack on the film producer or any other member of his family,” Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Sadanand Date said.
“The two accused have confessed to the conspiracy before a DCP-level officer,” the crime branch chief said, though did not reveal their names.
All the 11 accused have been charged under the provisions of the stringent MCOCA. As per the Act, if an accused confesses before a DCP-level officer, it has evidentiary value.
The 11 accused are among the 14 Pujari gang members, who were held between November 15 and 21.
Following the arrest of the gang members, city police claimed to have thwarted a plot to kill the Bhatt brothers and also cracked the case of firing in the air outside the residence of Karim Morani, producer of ‘Chennai Express’ movie.
The 11 accused facing the MCOCA charge are Mohammed Anees Merchant, Ishrat Shaikh, Mohammed Hakikulla Khan, Azim Khan, Ashfaq Abdul Rashid, Asif Sattar Khan, Shahatwal Shaik, Feroz Sayyed, Shabbir Shaikh, Rahim Khan and Ravi Singh.
The other three accused — Sufiyan SK, Faise SK and Armaan Siddique — are behind the bars in connection with Morani firing case reported in the city on August 23.
Mumbai Police had on November 15 laid trap outside the Bhatt’s office in suburban Khar following information that a group of men would gather there with firearms.
Spotting seven men with suspicious behaviour, police nabbed them with firearms.
The interrogation had revealed that they gathered to kill Mahesh Bhatt, his brother Mukesh or son Rahul at the instructions of Pujari, police said.
Pujari wanted to create fear in Bollywood, so that he could extort money from the celebrities without much effort, police said.
Further questioning of the seven accused threw up the names of six of their associates, who were subsequently arrested in the next two days of operation.
The six were identified as Mohammed Anees Merchant, Shabbir Shaikh, Rahim Khan, Sufiyan SK, Faise SK and Armaan Siddique, police said.
One more accused in the case, Ravi Singh, was held on November 21, police said.