A local gangster Kunal Shankar Pol of the notorious Gajanan Marne gang was shot dead by Baba Bodke gang members at a hotel in Swargate on Wednesday night, signalling the return of gang wars in the city. The incident took place around 11.15 pm at Hotel Samrat near Seven Loves Chowk.
Pol (31), son of a retired policeman and resident of Kondhwa, had four cases of attempt to murder and assault registered against him. Besides, he was also involved in a series of real estate transactions.
According to the police, a gang comprising 15-16 men armed with countrymade pistols and choppers accosted Pol and his friend Navnath Lodha at the Swargate police lines. Pol was chatting with his friend and hotel owner Shirish Shetty, when the gang members attacked them.
Primary investigations have revealed that the murder was a fallout of a dispute over a slum rehabilitation construction scheme in Swargate area. Pol’s friend Lodha (27) has lodged a complaint with the Swargate police station.
The assailants smashed the window panes of a SUV before the attack. Vishal Satpute alias Jangalya, the prime suspect, and Rohan Chavan fired at Lodha who ducked two bullets. Lodha somehow managed to escape but the goons shot dead Pol and also assaulted him with choppers. After post-mortem, three bullets were recovered from Pol’s body including head and abdomen. The hotel owner Shetty sustained minor injuries in the incident. On Thursday afternoon, a group of about 50 youths on motorcycles escorted the body of Pol in an ambulance from Sassoon hospital to Swargate police lines. They had also entered the BRTS route outside the Swargate police station. The body was kept at the police lines for about 15 minutes before being taken to his native place near Saswad.
Police inspector (crime) Deepak Nikam, who is investigating the case, said, “Satpute has seven cases including attempt to murder and assault against him. There was a rivalry between Satpute and Pol. In July, Satpute was assaulted after which Pol alongwith Lodha and one Bappa Kasbe were arrested. Pol was released in September.”
Crime branch officials said that Pol and his accomplices used muscle power in land dealings in Kondhwa and rural areas of the district.