A week after gangster Sandeep Gadoli was shot dead by the Gurgaon police in an alleged encounter in Mumbai on Sunday, his body is still lying in the mortuary. Gadoli’s family members have alleged that the encounter was fake and that they will not claim the body until the Gurgaon policemen involved in the operation are arrested by the Mumbai police.
Gadoli’s elder brother Kuldeep Gandaas (44), who is a lawyer in a Gurgaon court, has filed a writ petition in the Mumbai high court demanding arrest of the Gurgaon police personnel.
He said Gadoli could have been caught alive but the policemen wanted to murder him.
A bench of the court comprising Justices Ranjit More and V L Achaliya is scheduled to hear the petition on Monday.
Tanveer Nizam, the Bombay high court lawyer hired by Gandaas, said, “The family has significant evidence to prove that the policemen staged the encounter. They have spoken to the hotel staff and the friends who accompanied Gadoli to Mumbai. The most important question is why did the policemen tamper with the CCTV camera. Also, all the movements of the policemen have been recorded.”
Gandass alleged that the crime team of the Gurgaon police damaged a CCTV camera installed near Gadoli’s room on the ground floor after the “fake encounter” to destroy evidence but by then the camera had already recorded the operation. Other cameras in the hotel captured the policemen destroying this camera, the family members said.
He said Hotel Airport Metro, where Gadoli was killed, has only one entry and exit.
“Why did the Gurgaon police not take help from the Mumbai police and surround the hotel? In that case, Gadoli would have surrendered or else he would have been caught,” he said.
“My brother (Gadoli) was not carrying any weapon. He had left his weapon with his friends in Gurgaon before leaving for Mumbai on February 4,” Gandass said.
The family alleged that assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Rajesh Kumar, who was earlier the in-charge of the crime unit that carried out the operation, was behind the “staged encounter”.
“ACP Rajesh Kumar is also a distant relative of Binder Gujjar, Gadoli’s rival. He has conducted several raids in our house while he was heading the crime unit. We have already suffered huge losses because of these raids. Our house was damaged and the CCTV cameras installed there were also damaged by the crime team during the raids,” Gandaas alleged.
ACP Kumar denied the allegations.“I have no personal grudges against the gangster and his family members. I met them only when they visited the police commissioner’s office,” Kumar said.
The family is demanding that an FIR be registered against the policemen and a judicial inquiry be conducted. They said the opinion of forensic experts should be taken on the distance from which Gadoli was shot.
Gandaas claimed that the hotel staff told the Mumbai police that when they objected to the Gurgaon policemen breaking the CCTV camera, they were threatened.
On December 12, Gadoli’s mother Murti Devi submitted a complaint letter to the Haryana Governor and demanded an independent inquiry against Gadoli. In the letter, she alleged that during a police raid conducted at their house, the policemen took away cash and jewellery.