This is not the first time police inspector Sanjay Shinde from the Mumbai crime branch, suspended for his alleged link with Vijay Palande, has come under scrutiny for abetting a crime.
Shinde is currently being investigated for his association with Palande, an accused in the two recent murder cases, after he allegedly let the accused escape from custody. Shinde’s uniform was found in the SUV Palande allegedly used to get away, and officials are looking at whether the vehicle is registered in Shinde’s or his family’s name.
Shinde first faced an inquiry after he shot a fellow officer after getting drunk in a bar on Gatari, a regional festival, in 1998. Shinde was also shot in the fight, said sources.
The inquiry saw him transferred to Nagpur, said sources. But the officer, said to be well-connected, returned to action with a posting in the Thane crime branch.
Shinde came under the scanner once again for his alleged involvement in the Milton kidnapping case. In February 2000, alleged Abu Salem gang members kidnapped Chiranjeev Vaghani, managing director of Milton Plastics, at gunpoint from outside his Malabar Hill house. They demanded a ransom of Rs 25 crore for his release. The case was cracked after Shinde was interrogated by an encounter specialist.
“His phone was tapped. He was in touch with Abu Salem. In fact, Shinde was egging them to shoot Vaghani,” said a senior officer, requesting anonymity.
During this period his association with Ramu Rahane, a gangster linked to Chhota Shakeel, was probed.
Shinde’s stint in the Thane crime branch was cut short when D Sivanandan took over as police chief. He was shunted out to Bhiwandi in 2006.
Sources said soon after Shinde went on sick leave and negotiated his transfer to Mumbai crime branch in 2007.
Shinde has now been transferred to the crime branch’s administration department. Arup Patnaik, city police commissioner, said: “Yes, Shinde has a dubious past. I have suspended him. We will probe his criminal past, his association with Palande and his role in the Milton case.”