MUMBAI, Nov 14: Police scored their seventh shootout in the early hours today, gunning down one of the main accused in the murder of slain Shiv Sena trade unionist and former member of the Legislative Council, Ramesh More.Pramod Dattaram Ogale, a member of the Arun Gawli gang, was shot dead when he along with two associates rode up on a motorcycle to the residence of Tempo Kamgar Sena President Shashikant Sawant near D N Nagar post office at Andheri (W) at around 12.30 a.m. today.
After being tipped off that the gangsters were to arrive there to kill Sawant, a posse of police with mobile vans kept vigil. When the trio arrived, one of them stood guard at the entrance while the other two prepared to enter the premises. In the shootout that followed, Ogale was injured but died before being admitted to Cooper Hospital. His associates managed to escape. Police recovered a country-made revolver and three empty cartridges and an equal number of live rounds from the scene of crime.
Ogale was named in at least 11serious offences, including More's murder. He was active in the D N Nagar area. More was gunned down by Gawli's hitmen over a trade union dispute related to recruitment at the Santacruz airport in September 1994. The killing was masterminded by slain gangster Tanya Koli and executed by Pandurang Madvi, Yogesh Paradkar alias Pardiya, Keshav Utchil and Raju Battatiya. Of these, one of them is in jail, one is absconding, two were killed at Gawli's behest itself this year while Ogale was shot dead today.
Police records indicate that Ogale had played a significant role in guiding the hitmen to More. While the other gangsters were arrested in connection with the murder, Ogale was released on bail.
More was allegedly killed also because Gawli believed he had links with rival slain gangster Amar Naik. More, with Shrikant Desai alias Shree Mama, had tightened their hold over the airport, which was once Gawli's stronghold.
Ogale is the 24th victim of police encounters in Mumbai this year. This is also the seventhpolice encounter since Monday, taking the total number of shootouts in 1998 to 101.
Copyright © 1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.