Mumbai, Aug 31 (): The Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) Court, on Friday sentenced Mumbai gangster turned politician Arun Gawli to life imprisonment for the murder of Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar in the year 2007.
The 60-year-old Gawli was believed to have received Rs. 30 lakh for killing Shiv Sena corporator and was found to be guilty under the MCOCA. Out of sixteen persons arrested who were involved in the crime, the court found twelve to be guilty and observed lack of evidence against three while one accused Sadashiv Surve, who was sick last month died in police custody.
The police considered Gawli’s conviction as very important who has been engaged in illegal activities for the past forty years. It has also has been one of those rare cases in which the witnesses do not prefer to turn hostile, said the police.
“Truth prevailed and the hard work bore fruit at last. Right from the beginning till end, the gang was repeatedly threatening the witnesses,” said Rakesh Maria, additional director general of police, Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS). “This is perhaps the first time in which an underworld don has been convicted. This is also the first time for Arun Gawli,” said Mr Maria, who as joint commissioner of police (crime) 2008, played an important role in apprehending the underworld don connecting him with the murder.
Gawli was sent to ten years jail term for committing the crime. The judge while announcing the verdict said, “Instead of hanging to death the court has given you life imprisonment.” The court also imposed a fine of Rs seventeen lakhs on Gawli, failing which he will have to undergo another three years of imprisonment.
Earlier in his argument the once dreadful underworld don told the judge that there was no need for him to kill the sena corporator for just Rs 30 lakhs amount. Gawli’s lawyer requested the court not to give the capital punishment to his client as demanded by the prosecution.