Famed ‘encounter specialist’ Daya Nayak, who has 83 encounter killings to his credit, was reinstated by the Maharashtra government on Monday.
Nayak was suspended in July 2015 for not reporting to duty and being on sick leave for a very long time. He was posted in Nagpur area at that time.
The 1995 batch police officer had been suspended before in January 2006 after a Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court ordered the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) to conduct an inquiry into his wealth.
Here’s all you need to know about Nayak and four other encounter specialists of Mumbai Police:
Daya Nayak: 1995 batch
Encounters: 83, including that of Chhota Rajan’s gang members
Current status: Reinstated
Allegations against Nayak’s disproportionate assets had started as early as January 2002 when he inaugurated his Radhabhai Nayak School in Yennehole village at Karkala in Karnataka. A departmental inquiry, however, cleared Nayak of all allegations.
A disproportionate assets case was filed against Nayak in January 2003. He was investigated by the MCOCA court for links with the underworld but was given clean chit after several inquiries in 2004.
In 2006, Nayak was arrested by the anti-corruption bureau after a sessions court issued a non-bailable warrant against him for amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income. After his arrest and interrogation, the list of properties that Nayak allegedly owned came to light. It included, among others, a swank penthouse in Yug Dharma apartments in Mumbai’s Malad. He was suspended as well.
The ACB inquiry in 2006 led to Nayak’s arrest after a court rejected his anticipatory bail. But, in October 2009, the then DGP, SS Virk, denied permission to prosecute Nayak, citing insufficient grounds.
The Supreme Court quashed all the charges against him under the MCOCA in 2010 and he was reinstated only in 2012 at the additional commissioner of police (west) control room.
After being out of the force for nearly six-and-a-half years, Nayak was reinstated and transferred to the west region (Bandra to Andheri) of the city which is considered as a ‘high-profile’ zone in the police department. Since then, Nayak maintained a low profile.
Nana Patekar and Rana Daggubati have portrayed him in Ab Tak Chhappan and Department respectively.
Pradeep Sharma: 1983 batch
Encounters: 113, including top crime bosses and three LeT suspects
Current status: Dismissed from service
Sharma’s name has cropped up in several cases including encounter killings. He was accsued in the 2003 custodial death of bomb blast accused Khwaja Yunus and said to have a nexus with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
Sharma was also allegedly involved in grabbing land in Malad and the November 2006 alleged fake encounter of former gangster Ram Narain Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiyya, a suspected aide of gangster Chhota Rajan.
In January 2010, Sharma was arrested along with 21 others for their involvement in the encounter of Lakhan Bhaiyya. A Mumbai court acquitted Sharma of all the charges in the case in July 2013.
Sanjay Dutt played Sharma in Ram Gopal Varma’s Department.
Vijay Salaskar: 1983 batch
Encounters: 83, including key members of the Arun Gawli gang
Current status: Martyred in 26/11 terrorist attack
Salaskar was killed in action during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. He was 50. He was honoured with the Ashoka Chakra in 2009. Before his death, Salaskar was head of the anti-extortion cell of Mumbai Police.
After an encounter in 2004 when Salaskar killed two of gangster Gawli’s aides, allegations had surfaced that the killings were fake.
Sachin Waze: 1990 batch
Encounters: 63, including key members of Chhota Rajan and Dawood Ibrahim’s gangs
Current status: Resigned from the force
Waze joined Maharashtra police in 1990 and resigned in November 2007. Media reports suggest that Waze had special skills in tackling cyber crimes and reportedly carried modern gadgets and gizmos.
A case of the custodial death of software engineer Khwaja Yunus was filed against him in 2003. It was alleged that Waze punched Yunus in the stomach and poured a bucket of cold water on him, which led to his death.
Ravindranath Angre: 1983 batch
Encounters: 52, including famous underworld don Suresh Machekar and members of gangster Amar Naik’s gang
Current status: Suspended from service
In 2008, Thane-based builder, Ganesh Wagh filed a complaint of threatening, extortion and robbery against Angre, following which the officer was arrested and suspended. He spent months in prison and was released in May 2009.
In 2010, Angre was again arrested on charges of attempt to murder Wagh’s brother Mahesh. The cop was granted conditional bail after spending 49 days in jail. Angre was acquitted by a sessions court for lack of circumstantial evidence or eyewitness in 2011.
He was later reinstated into the force and transferred to Gadchiroli. Angre refused to accept his transfer, following which he was dismissed from service in June 2014.
Angre, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2015, is now being considered as the man to take on Shiv Sena and the NCP in the Thane municipal elections to be held in 2017.