Out on bail, contractor arrested for extortion

The Panvel City police have arrested a civil contractor, who recently secured bail citing the risk of contracting COVID-19, for threatening to kill a building material supplier if he did not hand over his construction contracts.

Police inspector Shatrughn Mali said Rajesh Kaikadi alias Raja (40) threatened the complainant on several occasions, but on October 4, he pointed a gun at him. “The same day a complaint was filed. We suspect that the accused has threatened many others in a similar way,” Mr. Mali said.

On October 7, a team of 12 personnel reached Mr. Kaikadi’s house in Karanjade at 2 a.m., but he refused to open the door. The police then broke open the door and found him waiting to attack them with a rod.

The police said the accused tried to inflict injuries on his body by banging his head against a window pane when he realised he would get caught. The team finally nabbed him at 5 a.m. A country-made pistol worth ₹25,000 and two live cartridges were recovered.

The accused has been previously arrested in 12 cases, with charges including murder, attempted murder, rape and attacking government employees.

He has also been booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, and was in jail in connection with the murder of Sada Sable, a local leader in Panvel.

The police have appealed to citizens, including developers and building material suppliers, to file a report if they have received extortion calls from the accused.

He has been charged under Sections 385, 506 (2), and 504 of the Indian Penal Code; Sections 3 and 25 of the Arms Act; and Sections 37(1) and 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act.

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