8 held on charges of illegal possession of arms

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Pune, Jun 22 (UNI) City Police here today arrested eight people, including Shiv Sena member Ravi Dhumal and two notorious criminals Vinayak Gaikwad and Dinesh Yadav, for allegedly possessing illegal arms.

The unit III of crime branch chased an SUV near Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Park, Hinjewadi and arrested the accused.

Two sophisticated revolvers, five country-made revolvers and 32 cartridges were recovered from them.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Anil Kumbhare, this was the biggest arms haul seized in the city's history.

Among the arrested, Gaikwad and Yadav are accused of murdering notorious goon Ankush Surve, member of the rival Rakesh Barne gang.

Barne, a labour supplier in the Hinjewadi-Mann area and the main accused in Surve's murder case, has also been accused of killing Mhalunge Village Sarpanch Anant Padale and is behind bars since June last.

Police records show that Padale's murder was a result of conflict in establishing supremacy in the illegal land grabbing business, Mr Kumbhare informed.

The DCP said the prosperity and boom in the city has led to an increase in criminal activities in the fringe areas like Hinjewadi, Kharadi, Maval, Talegaon and Mulshi, specially land grabbers and small time criminals, who are spreading terror with the help of sophisticated weapons and muscle power, are mushrooming wherever developmental works are coming up.

''The arrested have been operating in the Hinjewadi, Mann areas, where land prices have skyrocketed and contraction is at its peak.

Some of them have been charged with intimidating builders at gun-point, forcing them to use their labours,'' Mr Kumbhare said.

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