Inspector Pradeep Suryavanshi, one of the key accused in the “fake” encounter killing of alleged Chhota Rajan gangster Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiya, was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Thursday night.
Sources in the SIT told Hindustan Times on Thursday that Suryavanshi was nabbed from a hotel at Andheri, which belongs to one of his friends. Suryavanshi had gone on sick leave following the arrest of police inspector Pradeep Sharma in January this year for involvement in the fake encounter.
This was ostensibly done in order to evade arrest. Suryavanshi got himself admitted to a private hospital and went underground. The SIT had posted policemen at his residence to arrest him.
SIT chief, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) K M M Prasanna, confirmed the arrest but declined to speak further. Seven more, including senior police inspector Pradeep Sharma, earlier arrested in the case, are presently lodged in judicial custody.
On November 11, 2006, Suryavanshi, then posted at the D N Nagar police station, had allegedly led a team of 13 policemen that killed Gupta near Magnum Opus building, Opposite Nana Nani Park at Juhu-Versova Link Road in an encounter. One of Gupta’s accomplices managed to escape the scene.
An initial report prepared by the Versova police after the encounter stated that the police team fired five rounds at an armed Gupta who did not pay heed to the repeated loud warnings made by PI Suryavanshi and API Sarwankar to surrender.
While Suryavanshi had fired two rounds, APIs Palande, Sarwankar and Sartape had fired one round each.
Gupta had allegedly fired two rounds from his .32 caliber “Made In Japan” revolver.
A magisterial inquiry — ordered after Gupta’s brother Ramnarayan moved the Bombay High Court alleging that his brother had been picked up from his residence in Navi Mumbai and killed in a fake encounter — nailed the lies and concluded that the encounter had been “faked” and Gupta was killed in cold blood.