28 February 2020
Bengaluru: Intercontinental gangster Ravi Pujari's lawyer Dilraj is being kept out of hearing distance as a mute spectator during the interrogation, said a source on Friday.
"The lawyer is a mute spectator out of hearing distance from the interrogation. He is not privy to what cops ask Pujari," told a source to IANS.
As directed by the court and requested by Pujari, Dilraj is allowed to be present near the interrogation for him to consult on legal issues, but the cops have made sure that he does not hear anything for fear of leaking information.
The court has also ordered the interrogation to be videographed which the police are carrying out.
Interestingly, the gangster is in a relaxed demeanour and cool during the multi-lingual interrogation.
"He is cool, giving frank kind of replies. Pujari is exhibiting confidence in whatever he is telling. Maybe confidently lying, police are not new to him," said the source.
According to source, the gangster knows how to handle police, with sufficient knowledge to reveal how much he wants to, where to stop, where to talk, when to mislead and plant unnecessary false information.
"Pujari is being interrogated in his mother tongue Kannada, Hindi and English. He is fluent in English," the source said.
However, the source denied speculation gaining currency that Pujari requested police not to send him to Mumbai fearing of being eliminated by the henchmen of dreaded underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim and Chota Rajan.
"Nothing of that sort happened. It doesn't work like that. He has been captured after 25 years, and he is not a king to choose. Wherever the law takes him, he will go there," said the source.
Rajan is serving a life sentence inside a high security cell in Delhi's Tihar jail.
Currently, the probe is focused on Tilknagar Shabnam Developers double murder shootout case. Police are discovering information, verifying it with respect to evidence and building the case.
Taking regular breaks, police are interrogating Pujari from morning till evening.
Of the over 200 cases against Pujari in the southern state, 39 are in Bengaluru, 36 at Mangaluru, 11 in Udupi on the state's west coast and one each at Mysuru, Hubballi-Dharwad, Kolar and Shivamogga in Malnad.
The other cases are in Mumbai (49) and in Gujarat (75) pertaining to extortion, kidnapping, ransom demand and murder threats.
Pujari also extorted huge amounts from popular Bollywood stars and realtors. He was also involved in an attempt to murder case, aimed at killing a prominent lawyer of Mumbai.
A four-member Karnataka police team led by Pandey brought the 52-year-old underworld don to Bengaluru from Dakar in Senegal via Paris in an Air France scheduled flight during the wee hours and kept him at an interrogation centre in the city's south-east suburb.
BY SHARON THAMBALA