Pune: Police seize documents related to builders, politicians from absconder RTI activist’s residence
Pune: Kothrud police have seized important documents related to builders, politicians and government contractors from the residence of absconder RTI activist Ravindra Laxman Barhate. Barhate was officially declared as an ‘absconder’ by the Pune Police a few days back. He is ‘wanted’ in several cases of extortion and land grabbing. Barhate and his accomplices have been booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) recently.
Police had raided six locations including Barhate’s flat at Madhusudha Apartment in Lullanagar and Rayri bungalow in Sargam Society in Dhankawadi. The other four locations are Barhate’s daughter’s EZ Pharmaceutical shop, her father-in-law’s house in Zambre Estate in Maharshi Nagar, Barhate’s sister’s residence near Chatre Sabhagruha and brother-in-law’s house in Nishida society in Bibwewadi.
Some important documents were seized from the under-renovation bungalow Rayri in Dhankawadi. It includes RTI applications, documents received as answers to his RTI queries and documents related to some ‘renowned’ builders, politicians and government contractors from Pune and Mumbai city.
Some of the documents also pertain to the correspondence between Barhate and several government offices like Pune Municipal Corporation, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, Revenue Department, Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority, District Collector office, Zilla Parishad, Income Tax department, Tehsildar offices and other Gram Panchayat offices.
Recent investigation into several land grabbing and extortion cases has revealed that Barhate along with other accomplices including dismissed cop Shailesh Jagtap, ex-journalist Devendra Jain and 10 others were involved in these serious offences. A total of 14 FIR’s have been registered against them at various police stations in Pune city and rural areas.
Two builders Sudhir Karnataki and Rishikesh Bartakke had lodged separate cases against the suspects at Kothrud and Samarth police station. Barhate is still absconding and his anticipatory bail has been rejected by the Supreme Court.
A case has been registered against Barhate and his accomplices on charges of threatening an hotelier and attempting to grab his land plot. This FIR was lodged in September month at the Hadapsar police station. Along with Barhate, Jagtap and Jain, the other accomplices in this case include another dismissed cop Parvez Jamadar, Vishal Dhore, Sujit Singh, Aslam Pathan, Balaji Lakhade, Sachin Dhivar, Vitthal Reddy, Ganesh Amande, Nitin Ramdas Pawar.
Kothrud police have appealed to citizens to share any information about Barhate’s whereabouts. Police Inspector Pratibha Joshi said, “Citizens can inform Kothrud police on their landline numbers 020-25391010 or 25391515 of the police station.”