Pune Police Crackdown: 42 Pistols, 74 Cartridges Worth Rs 13 Lakhs Seized; 28 Criminals Arrested

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Reported by Mubarak Ansari

Pune, 24th April 2024: In a concerted effort to curb illegal weapons possession, the Crime Branch of Pune Police, along with units from 14 police stations, launched a comprehensive campaign targeting individuals carrying illicit firearms. The operation yielded significant results, with authorities seizing a cache of 42 pistols and 74 live cartridges valued at Rs 12 lakh 95 thousand in the last one month. The crackdown led to the arrest of 28 suspects involved in illegal arms trafficking and related criminal activities, informed Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar.

Under the purview of this intensive drive, multiple operations were conducted, resulting in the apprehension of several individuals and the confiscation of illegal firearms and ammunition. Notable among the seizures was the recovery of one pistol and two cartridges, alongside a Kia company car, from Prashant Magam Pawar (28) of Sinhagad Road by a team from Crime Branch Unit Three on March 21.

Similarly, Meghraj alias Pappu Laxman Darade (32) from Ahmednagar was found in possession of four pistols and ten cartridges, while Sameer Haribhau Harpude (32) from Kothrud was caught with one pistol, amounting to a combined worth of Rs. 19 lakh 47 thousand. Both individuals have a history of involvement in serious crimes such as kidnapping, extortion, and robbery.

Subsequent operations conducted on April 14 resulted in the arrest of Nikhil Raju Shirasath (21) from Dhairi, with authorities seizing six pistols, ten cartridges, mopeds, and a Koyta, totaling Rs. 2 lakh 80 thousand 200. Further arrests on April 15 included Ashwin Balkrishna Lotane (20) from Dhadri and Vaibhav Ananta Tarde (23) from Dhairi, who were found in possession of additional firearms and cartridges.

The concerted efforts of the Anti-Extortion Squads also bore fruit, with arrests made and firearms seized in various operations throughout March and April. Notably, Suraj Rohidas Khandagale (30) from Warje, Sagar Ganesh Sutar (23) from Warje, and several minors were apprehended, and firearms were confiscated.

Overall, the Crime Branch registered 9 cases, seizing 28 pistols and 54 live cartridges from 14 accused, along with recovering valuables worth Rs 10 lakh 5 thousand 100. Meanwhile, 14 police stations recorded 10 cases, leading to the arrest of 14 individuals and the seizure of 14 pistols and 20 cartridges valued at Rs 2 lakh 90 thousand.

The action was taken under the guidance of Commissioner of Police Amitesh Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police Pravin Pawar, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Shailesh Balkawade, DCP (Crime) Amol Zende, ACP (Crime 1) Sunil Tambe ACP and ACP (Crime-2) Satish Govekar. The teams were led by Police Inspector Pratap Mankar, PI Shrihari Bahirat, PI Krantikumar Patil, PI Nandkumar Bidwai and their team members.