MUMBAI : In a fresh FIR registered on Friday, by the Virar police station, Shashikant Karpe (52), a senior journalist of a reputed Mumbai based Marathi daily (Lokmat) and Dhananjay Gawde, the absconding Dhananjay Gawde, Vasai Sena Corporator has been registered for accepting Rs 50 lakh from a Virar based builder. Both the accused are absconding. With this the Palghar Police district have so far registered around 17 cases of extortion, in which 8 cases of extortion are registered against Dhananjay Gawde. 


As per details,Gawde had accepted around Rs 40 lakh cash from Shailesh Patil, the victim who had constructed some structure in Manvelpada, Virar and between December 2015 till April 2016, Gawde had accepted the money in his Nalla Sopara (E) office. Karpe had also accepted Rs 10 lakh cash at the latter's Manvelpada residence during the same period,  so as to withdraw the complaint filed against Patil before the Vasai civic body and also for withdrawing a PIL before the HC,said PI Ghanshyam Adhav of Virar police station. Karpe would also threaten the builders of publishing their stories of illegal construction in his newspaper if the extortion amount was unpaid, said PI Adhav, on the insistence of Gawde.


Among the 17 cases of extortion filed, three cases are also registered against Govinda Gunjalkar, Vasai president of the NCP who had allegedly misused the letter head of Anand Thakur, MLA, NCP to use for his extortion racket, said the senior police official.  Gunjalkar, Gawde and Karpe are absconding,he said.  According to police sources, Gawde is changing his location from Pune, and also was hiding in Gujarat and in Uttar Pradesh to escape police arrest.