A special crime branch team investigating the alleged fake encounter of gangster Sandeep Gadoli by the Gurgaon police at a hotel in Andheri (East) on February 7 could soon register a first information report (FIR) against eight Gurgaon policemen. The crime branch, which has recorded the statements of all eight cops, says it has gathered enough evidence, including closed circuit television (CCTV) footage from the hotel, to charge them with murder.
A police source said Gadoli may have been killed for money, adding that investigators are looking into this. There have been claims that a senior official with the Gurgaon police accepted Rs 2 crore to carry out the encounter, said the source.
On February 7, four policemen went up to Gadoli’s room at Airport Metro Hotel, where the alleged encounter took place, while the other four waited downstairs in case he tried to escape. CCTV footage shows a policeman throwing a weapon at Gadoli before shooting him, and a woman being dragged out of the room, said a source. It also shows one of the policemen breaking a CCTV camera and removing the wire soon after the alleged encounter, the source added. Investigators are looking into why the policeman broke the camera.
Gadoli’s brother has alleged that the pistol that the Gurgaon cops claimed to have recovered after the encounter was planted on him, said a police source. Two male friends of Gadoli and two women who had travelled with them – and were staying in different rooms at the hotel – have also told the police that Gadoli did not have a weapon while travelling with them, said a source.
“So far we have not reached any conclusion; an investigation is underway,” said a senior Mumbai crime branch official, who did not wish to be named. The Mumbai police have recorded the statements of hotel employees and Gadoli’s relatives. A police source said these too could implicate the Gurgaon cops. An examination of the eight policemen’s call data records has revealed that they had been tracking Gadoli; his girlfriend’s mother was in constant touch with them, the source added.
The Gurgaon police said that they had followed him from Gurgaon to Mumbai. After receiving word that he was staying at Airport Metro Hotel in Andheri, they paid him a visit. They claimed that they only opened fire and killed Gadoli after he fired two rounds at them. Gadoli was wanted in 36 cases of murder, attempt to murder and extortion.