Pradeep Sharma (46) joined the Mumbai police on January 21, 1983 and Mahim police station was his first posting.
Sharma, on who the film Ab Tak Chappan was based, soon got noticed for his skill of developing informers and gathering intelligence through human resources, and was transferred to the elite crime branch.
For more than 20 years he worked with his band of encounter specialists chasing and, at times, killing gangsters and terrorists in shootouts.
During the peak of his career, Sharma operated from the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) of crime branch breaking the backbone of underworld in the city.
His woes started after he was transferred to Amravati in October 2006 and transferred back to the police control room at the police commissioner’s office.
Months later, he was transferred to Dharavi police station. Two months into the posting on August 30, 2008, he was unceremoniously removed from Mumbai police for alleged underworld links.
Eight months later, the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal found his dismissal order “arbitrary” and ordered the Dhule Science and Engineering College graduate’s reinstatement.
Sharma spoke to Stavan Desai after the verdict and said he is looking forward to join the force. Excerpts
You were accused of having links with “global terrorists and organised crime syndicates” and dismissed from service. Comments.
I think today’s order replies the baseless allegations.
Then why do you think you were dismissed from service?
I was rewarded for 25 years of unblemished service. I became a victim of the corrupt system.
In your appeal against the dismissal, you have named Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria and slain Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar having serious grudge against you. Who do you hold responsible for your dismissal?
The system. I have nothing against anybody.
Did anybody from the police support you after your dismissal?
My family supported me. And so did my friends in and outside the force.
Now what? Will you claim damages?
I am waiting to join the (police) force.
But will you be able to serve like before?
Why not, this is all past now. I will again wear the uniform.