Mumbai crime branch’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) arrested a Gurgaon police sub-inspector in connection with the alleged fake encounter of gangster Sandeep Gadoli.
Pradyuman Yadav, one of five cops booked in the case, was picked up from his official residence in Gurgaon’s police lines on Tuesday night and taken to Mumbai, where he will be produced before a court on Wednesday, said Sanjay Saxena, joint commissioner of police.
The SIT was formed soon after Gadoli was killed by Gurgaon police at Hotel Airport Metro in Mumbai on February 7. Gadoli was wanted in about 30 cases and had a cash reward of Rs1.2 lakh on his head.
The Mumbai police contend that the encounter was staged, but their Gurgaon counterparts maintained that the gangster was killed in retaliatory fire.
Gadoli’s girlfriend Divya Pahuja, who was in the room at the time of the encounter, had allegedly tipped off the police about his location. CCTV footage from the hotel showed officers trying to damage a camera facing Gadoli’s room before he was gunned down.
The officers, Pahuja and local politician Manoj Binder were booked in the case. Binder, brother of Gadoli’s rival Binder Gujjar, was on the day of the incident in touch with an officer in the encounter team.
In addition to Yadav, constable Vikram Singh, head constables Pramjeet Ahlawat, Deepak and Jitendra are accused in the case.
The accused cops were suspended on May 30, after the investigating team informed the Supreme Court that a case had been registered against them. They approached the Punjab and Haryana high court last month, seeking quashing of their suspension and transferring the investigation of the case to Haryana.
The court, however, disposed the petition and directed Mumbai police not to take coercive measures against the accused cops.
February 7, 2016: Five members of the Gurgaon police and three of their associates allegedly shot Gurgaon-based gangster Sandeep Gadoli to death in a hotel room in Andheri
February 8: PSI Pradhuman Yadav of the Gurgaon police, who led the raiding team, lodged a complaint against Gadoli at the MIDC police station on attempt to murder charges, claiming that it was Gadoli who had opened fire and the Gurgaon cops had fired back in self-defence. The Mumbai police then lodged an FIR under sections 307, 353, 332 of the IPC and Arms Act against the slain gangster.
February 15: The Bombay high court directed the Mumbai police to register an FIR against the Gurgaon police team that visited the Andheri hotel and shot Gadoli to death in the alleged ‘encounter.’
February 20: An SIT was formed by the Mumbai police to probe the alleged encounter
February 27: The SIT revealed that Gadoli had been shot at in his back, and thus raised questions on the Gurgaon police’s version
March 16: Following a Supreme Court order to relook into its February directive and give the Gurgaon cops a fair hearing, the Bombay HC dismissed the writ petition and all related applications filed by Gadoli’s family who demanded that the Gurgaon cops be booked for murder
April 29: The SIT revealed that CCTV footage from the Andheri hotel had shown that the cops had “planted” the weapon on Gadoli’s body after shooting him to death
May 25: The Mumbai police concluded that the encounter was fake and dropped the charges of attempt to murder under section 307 of the IPC against Gadoli from the FIR. It instead booked the five Gurgaon cops on charges of murder under section 302 of the IPC
May 27: The SIT informed the Supreme Court that while five Gurgaon cops had been booked for Gadoli’s murder, it was still probing the role two senior officials of the Gurgaon police
June 2: A Mumbai metropolitan magistrate’s court rejected the SIT’s plea for non-bailable arrest warrants against the Gurgaon cops but held that the Mumbai police had all powers to arrest the accused people
June 6: Gadoli’s kin have alleged a threat to their lives. The gangster brother Kuldeep Singh was threatened by unidentified people, who allegedly asked him to give up his quest for a probe into the case.