Encounter specialist held for fake encounter
Encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma has been arrested along with two constables in connection with an alleged fake encounter case in 2006.mumbai Updated: Jan 09, 2010 00:33 IST
He once led an elite team of policemen who fought to protect Mumbai from the underworld, but now Pradeep Sharma (46) is just another offender who has to spend seven days in the police lock-up.
On Friday, the man who is said to have killed 107 gangsters was sent to a week’s police custody along with five others, two of them constables. They were arrested on Thursday on charges of killing a gangster in a fake encounter.
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said: “Cases against such officers are sometimes true, sometimes a communication gap. If his guilt is proved, it will be a blot on the police force.”
Sharma, who spent the night at the Bandra police station lock-up, appeared in the courtroom on Friday wearing a striped blue shirt and a smile. He was the only accused whose face was uncovered. “He is well-known. But the others need to be identified by witnesses so their faces can’t be shown,” said a police officer.
Metropolitan Magistrate R.A. Sheikh refuted allegations by Sharma’s lawyer that the arrests were a fallout of the underworld-politician nexus.
Sharma’s arrest is a nail in the coffin of the exclusive team of ‘encounter specialists’ of the Andheri Crime Intelligence Unit, which was disbanded in 2002. Four of the six members were either dismissed or suspended. Sharma was dismissed in 2008 for links with the underworld.
The arrest comes after Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan bhaiya, an alleged Chhota Rajan aide, was killed by police in November 2006, and his brother Ramprasad Gupta went to court alleging it was a fake encounter. Last August, a special investigation team was formed to probe the allegations. Gupta alleged that police picked up his brother and took him to a Versova park and shot him as he had a dispute with Sharma.