Gangster held from jail for threatening witness in drugs case

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Mumbai, Dec 21 (PTI) A notorious gangster and an undertrial prisoner currently lodged in the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai were among four persons apprehended by the Maharashtra ATS for allegedly threatening a key witness who was supposed to depose before a special court in a drugs case, an official said on Monday.

The gangster Harish Mandvikar is serving a life term for murder in the jail, he said.

The witness was allegedly threatened with dire consequences last month if he deposed before the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act court against Sajid Electricwala, the undertrial prisoner who is also lodged in the Arthur Road jail, the official said.

He said Electricwala, the prime accused in the drugs case, and Mandvikar hatched a conspiracy to threaten the witnesses and tamper with the court proceedings, following which the gangster sent out handwritten notes to his henchmen, who are identified as Sachin Kolekar and Sujit Padwalkar.

Kolekar and Padwalkar were also arrested by the ATS and a case was registered against them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), he said.

Electricwala was arrested along with six others in 2015 after police raided a manufacturing unit at Lokhandwala in suburban Andheri and seized 155 kgs of raw and finished Mephedrone worth crores.

The deposition of the key witnesses was underway when it was stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March this year. The recording of his statement was supposed to resume last month, the official added.

The ATS action followed a complaint lodged by the witness, he said. PTI ZA NSK NSK