First conviction for Gawli; cops say will seek death
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Gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli and 11 others were on Friday convicted by a special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime (MCOCA) court for the 2007 murder of Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar. This is the first conviction for Gawli who has around 50 cases registered against him, although he had spent months behind bars as an undertrial, mainly in extortion cases.
Mumbai Police Crime Branch officers said police would seek death penalty because of Gawli's past and his "heinous crimes". The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on Monday.
Jamsandekar was shot dead at his Sakinaka apartment in 2007. According to the chargesheet, Gawli had taken a contract killing assignment for murdering Jamsandekar and was paid Rs 30 lakh for the hit. The convictions came under sections of MCOCA, besides section 302 (murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said the police had spoken to Raja Thakre, the special public prosecutor appointed in the case, and urged him to argue for death penalty for Gawli. "We have decided to try and seek death penalty considering the background of the gangster and the heinous crimes he has committed," said Roy. He said this is the first time Gawli was being convicted. Police records show Gawli has 49 cases registered against him, including assault, murder, and cases under the Arms Act.
One of the accused in the case, Sadashiv Surve alias Bala Surve, died during trial. Three others, Dinesh Narkar, Surendra Panchal and Ganesh Salvi, were acquitted in the case.
Jamsandekar was murdered after Ajit Rane, who had contested and lost the BMC polls against Jamsandekar. In October 2010, the court had framed charges against Gawli and the others under MCOCA and IPC. Rane, besides Pratap Godse, Sadashiv Surve and Sahebrao Bhintade were among those convicted.
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