Life imprisonment for gangster Sunder Bhati, 11 accomplices in Harendra Pradhan murder
Greater Noida: The Gautam Budh Nagar district and sessions court at Surajpur on Monday awarded life imprisonment for Sunder Bhati and his 11 accomplices for the murder of 35-year-old Harendra Pradhan alias Harendra Nagar of Dadopur village, Dankaur, in 2015.
Pradhan and his gunner, 46-year-old Bhoodev Sharma, were shot dead at a wedding on February 8, 2015 in Niyana village in Greater Noida by armed assailants. One of the suspects, Manoj (identified by a single name), has been acquitted for want of evidence.
Bhati and his accomplices were undergoing trial in the court of Dr Anil Kumar Singh, additional district judge, Surajpur.
“The court has sentenced life imprisonment for 12 persons, including Sunder Bhati, while also penalising them for ₹1.8 lakh each,” Brahmjeet Bhati, district government counsel (DGC criminal) Gautam Budh Nagar, said.
Half of the amount will be given to the gunner’s successor, said the court.
At the time of the incident, Pradhan had gone to attend the wedding of the daughter of his friend Prakash Bhati, at a venue located under the Site V police in Greater Noida. His security guard, Sharma, was accompanying him. When they were about to get into their car the assailants sprayed bullets on the two, killing both. Sharma also opened fire in self defence, during which one of the assailants was killed, later identified as Jatan Khatri, an alleged sharpshooter of the Bhati gang.
The case had been pursued by Pradhan’s younger brother Ravindra Nagar. He had filed a complaint against Bhati and his gang members under Section 302 (murder), Section 147 (rioting), Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) at the Site V police station.
A spokesperson for the Gautam Budh Nagar police commissionerate said that Bhati has never been sentenced in any case prior to this and teams will continue to work against organised crime.
Police sources said that Bhati is presently lodged at the Sonbhadra district jail. Pradhan’s widow Bevan Nagar, on February 9, 2021, had filed a fresh complaint alleging Bhati gang members had been pressuring Ravindra to withdraw the complaint. The family lawyer had also earlier alleged that witnesses had refused to testify against Bhati out of fear.