Pune: Lawyer Who Gave Shelter To MCOCA Accused Ravindra Barhate, Arrested

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Pune, 27th August 2021: A lawyer who is also an office-bearer of BJP’s Maharashtra Pradesh Legal Cell has been arrested by Pune city police for allegedly giving shelter to RTI activist Ravindra Barhate, an accused under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act 1999 (MCOCA), while he was on the run.

The arrested lawyer has been identified as Sagar Sanjay Mhaske (32), a resident of Mhaske Vasti in Kalas, Alandi Road. He has been arrested by the Crime Branch in an FIR registered at Hadapsar police station. A court has remanded him in police custody till September 1.

According to Surendranath Deshmukh, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, a case was registered against Barhate and his accomplices at Hadapsar police station. He has also been booked in more than 12 cases in different police stations in the city.

Barhate was arrested by Pune police last month. During the police interrogation, it was learned that Adv. Sagar Mhaske had given shelter to Barhate. At that time, Barhate was hiding his real identity by saying his name was Shantaram Patil.

Mhaske had been working with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for three and a half years. He then joined the BJP. He is currently the office-bearer of the BJP’s Legal Cell.

According to police, a hotelier living in the Manjari area had borrowed Rs 25 lakh from Barhate to repay a loan from a finance company at a heavy interest rate. After that, the businessman had returned around Rs 11 Lakh. The accused had a meal at their hotel during the election period and billed around Rs four to five lakh. However, to recover the remaining amount, on the basis of a forged document, he threatened to kill him with a pistol to transfer his Manjari bungalow under his name. He also threatened to kill his wife and child. The accused had tried to grab the bungalow by forging documents. Tired of all this, the businessman approached the police. Based on a complaint, a case was registered against Barhate, Vishal Dhore, and 12 of his accomplices at Hadapsar police station.