Former Dawood aide remanded in Pune police custody till Dec 10

Notorious gangster Omprakash alias Babloo Srivastava (50), a former aide of mafia don Dawood Ibrahim, was on Thursday remanded in the custody of Pune police for five days in connection with the 1998 abduction and murder case of 24-year-old Sagar Ladkat, son of a Koregaon Park-based businessman.

Srivastava was brought to the city from Bareilly jail on Wednesday and was remanded in one-day police custody by the court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Jyoti Kotnis.

On the night of May 22 in 1998, Sagar was allegedly abducted after his family members had refused to pay money. Investigations had revealed that on his way home he was stopped by kidnappers near Queens Garden and was taken Kondhwa and was later killed.

After investigations by the crime branch, a case was registered against 14 persons. Eight of them arrested in the case are now out on bail.

The Pune police have been repeatedly trying for Srivastava's custody but got it only on Wednesday. The interrogation of eight arrested suspects had revealed that Srivastava allegedly operated the gang from inside jail and also coordinated the kidnapping.

Inspector Sunil Patil of Crime Branch unit II produced Shrivastava before the court in presence of the large number of Pune police personnel and armed staffers from UP police. Assistant public prosecutor Pandit Jadhav argued for a custody of seven days saying that the time was required to interrogate Srivastava to 'throw light on conspiracy behind the kidnapping and murder'. He said in his submission, that the cellphones and pagers have been recovered from the arrested accused and the call details were also available.

Representing Srivastava, advocate Shrikant Shivde argued that the use of cellphones was impossible as he was in jail. He said in none of the earlier remand applications Srivastava was named. After submissions from both sides Srivastava was remanded to police custody till December 10.

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