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MCOCA suspect arrested in Pune, police say he is Lawrence Bishnoi gang member

Police have arrested Siddhesh Hiraman Kamble, alias Mahakal, in connection with the killing of popular singer and Congress leader Sidhu Moosewala in Punjab last month, officials said on Wednesday, adding he and another suspect Santosh Jadhav, both from Pune in Maharashtra, were involved in the crime and aware about the conspiracy. Maharashtra ADG (Law and Order) Kulwant Kumar Sarangal also said the arrested accused, Mahakal alias Siddhesh alias Saurabh Kamble, is part of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang.

“Mahakal and Santosh Jadhav are involved in the murder of Moosewala. They are very much aware of the conspiracy. During the investigation it came to light that Mahakal is part of Lawrence Bishnoi gang,” he told PTI in Mumbai. Sarangal said Jadhav, who is a wanted accused in the Moosewala murder case, had introduced Mahakal to the Bishnoi gang. Further investigation is on. He said police have secured a 12-day remand of Mahakal in connection with a murder case registered against Santosh Jadhav at Manchar police station in the Pune district.

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Pune Police said that Kamble was arrested on Tuesday from the Pune-Ahmednagar border. Kamble, against whom stringent MCOCA was invoked, was wanted by the Pune (rural) police for allegedly harbouring murder case accused, Santosh Jadhav, also a suspect in the Moosewala murder case, he said. “We have arrested Kamble against whom stringent MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) was invoked for allegedly harbouring Jadhav in the 2021 murder case of one Omkar Bankhele. A case to that effect was registered with Manchar police station in Pune district,” said Abhinav Deshmukh, Superintendent of Police, (Pune rural). Deshmukh said Kamble was also involved in a case registered in Rajasthan, and the Pune rural police will inform their counterparts in Rajasthan and Punjab.

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Speaking about his role in the Bankhele murder case, he said Kamble is not directly linked to this case in which Jadhav is the accused. “But he had sheltered Jadhav after the latter committed the crime. There is a provision in the MCOCA that those who help or harbour the accused against whom MCOCA has been invoked, also become accused under MCOCA,” the police officer added. Kamble was on Wednesday produced before a court in connection with the Manchar police station case which remanded him to police custody till June 20.

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