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Arun Gawli or Arun Gulab Ahir [1][2] is an Indian politician, underworld don[3][4] and former gangster.[5][6] Gawli and his brother Kishor (Pappa) entered the Mumbai underworld in the 1970s when they joined the "Byculla Company", a criminal gang led by Rama Naik and Babu Reshim, operating in the central Mumbai areas of Byculla, Parel and Saat Rasta. In 1988, after Rama Naik was killed in a police encounter, Gawli took over the gang and began operating it from his residence, Dagdi Chawl. Under his control, the gang controlled most criminal activities in the central Mumbai areas. Throughout the late eighties and nineties, Gawli's gang was involved in a power struggle with Dawood Ibrahim's D-Company gang. Gawli is also the founder of the Akhil Bharatiya Sena political party based in Maharashtra.[7]


Early and personal lifeEdit

Arun Gawli was born in Kopargaon, Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India. He married Asha Gawli, a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Maharashtra, and has two children, Mahesha and Geeta.[8][9] Geeta is a first term ABS corporator from in the Chinchpokli assembly constituency.[10] Gawli's nephew Sachin Ahir is an MLA and is the former Maharashtra Minister of State for Housing.[11] Gawli's uncle Hukumchand Yadav was a legislator from Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh.[10]

Criminal activitiesEdit

Gawli worked in Mumbai's textile mills, located in the central areas of Parel, Chinchpokli, Byculla and Cotton Green. From the 1970s to the late 1980s, Mumbai's textile mill industry witnessed mass strikes and eventual lock-outs. As a result, many young adults (including Gawli) had no employment and eventually found a short-cut to quick money through matka gambling and hafta-vasuli. Gawli then joined the "Byculla Company" gang led by gangsters Rama Naik and Babu Reshim and supervised their illegal liquor dens.

Mumbai police raided the premises of Dagdi Chawl several times and finally broke Gawli's underworld operations. Gawli was arrested several times for criminal activities and was detained for long periods during the trial. However, he could not be convicted in most of the cases as witnesses would not depose against him for fear of retaliation. He was finally convicted of the murder of Shiv Sena leader Kamlakar Jamsandekar by a court in August 2012. Gawli and eleven others were found guilty of Jamsandekar's murder.[12]


Gawli got political patronage in the 1980s when the then Shiv Sena chief, Bal Thackeray, criticised the Mumbai police for taking stringent action against Hindu gangsters like Arun Gawli and Sai Bansod, referring to them as amchi muley (our boys). Thackeray was challenged by a rival gangster in an open letter carried on the front page of a city tabloid.[13] However, Gawli fell out with Shiv Sena in the mid 1990s, murdered Shiv Sena men and formed his own political party, the Akhil Bharatiya Sena.

In 2004, Gawli was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the Mumbai Chinchpokli constituency as an Akhil Bharatiya Sena candidate. Gawli's rise in prominence is believed to be due to his "native roots" as a local lad, which makes him distinct from most other non-Marathi-speaking politicians.

Gawli's political designs suffered a major blow when his nephew and party legislator, Sachin Ahir, came out openly against him and joined Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party. Ahir even contested against Gawli in the subsequent Lok Sabha elections on a Nationalist Congress Party ticket, resulting in defeat for them both, but a victory for the Shiv Sena's sitting MP Mohan Rawale. Gawli's daughter Geeta was recently elected as a corporator to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

In popular cultureEdit


  1. ^ Jayaram, N. (2017). "Social Dynamics of the Urban: Studies from India". Indian Institute of Advanced Study. Retrieved 2017 – via Google Books. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ Virani, Pinki (2017). "Once was Bombay". Indian Institute of Advanced Study – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Kumar, Praveen. "Policing the Police 2 Edition". Indian Police service. p. 243 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Inside India". Publish America. p. 337 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Arun Gawli gets life for corporator's murder". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  7. ^ "'Arun Gawli's party front for crime' – The Times of India". The Times Of India. 6 September 2012.
  8. ^ Zaidi, S. Hussain; Borges, Jane (1 January 2011). "Mafia Queens of Mumbai". Westland. Retrieved 2 December 2016 – via Google Books.Template:Link deleted
  9. ^ "What marriage? What nonsense!". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Gawli's Daughter Marries Developer". Express India. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Dagdi Chawl's Daddy Cool". Tehelka Archive. Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  12. ^ "Arun Gawli convicted in murder case". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Makrand Deshpande as Arun Gawli - Times of India". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  15. ^ "WATCH: Makrand as Arun Gawli - Times of India". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Arjun Rampal as Daddy".