The external affairs ministry, which is coordinating the extradition process with the Indian embassy in Senegal, has submitted Pujari’s dossier containing his gang-related activities, 13 red-corner notices issued by Interpol following requests from Mumbai and Karnataka police, and a report on his fake passport to Senegalese authorities. Sources said the Indian embassy has sought time to gather more documentary evidence to prove Pujari’s identity.
Mumbai and Karnataka police have been asked to collect DNA samples of his family members and send them on a priority basis to Senegal, which may help establish that the detained man is indeed Pujari. His sisters Jayalaxmi Salian and Naina Pujari, who live in Delhi, are likely to provide DNA samples to be matched with Pujari. Sources said Pujari’s wife Padma and their three grown-up children have also managed to secure Burkina Faso passports. Police sources say though Pujari’s claims will be set aside, the evidence-gathering process might delay his extradition process. India is trying to get him deported through diplomatic channels, police sources added.
Deportation is the process of expelling a foreign national from a country where s/he is present illegally whereas in the extradition process, that country has to hear both sides.
The extradition of Chhota Shakeel, aide Munna Muddasar, alias Zingada, from Thailand has been stuck for the past five years with both India and Pakistan claiming his nationality.
Last week, Mumbai police had sent Pujari’s dossier with details of 49 offences registered against him and his gang, 18 of which are under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act. There are an additional 36 offences registered against him in Mangaluru, 11 in Udupi and 36 in Bengalaru and adjoining areas.
Sources said the Indian government will leave no stone unturned to get Pujari as he had created a sense of insecurity among businessmen, hoteliers, jewellers, and film personalities in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Mangaluru, Bengalaru and Gujarat. Meanwhile, news of Pujari’s possible deportation has left several of his aides, including a few former policemen, worried and they have switched off their mobile phones, said police sources.