Mumbai’s Top Guns
Sharma belongs to 1983 batch of sub-inspectors. His daredevil approach has earned him the nickname of ‘Ravan’, reports Sunil Shivdasani.
Senior Inspector Pradeep Sharma: His father wanted him to become a teacher but he became one of the most dreaded sharpshooters of the Mumbai Police. Sharma is involved in 82 encounters and his prime targets have been Chhota Rajan's key associates Vinod Matkar, Sadiq Kalia, Goa ka Tony and others of their ilk. In 1990, Sharma gunned down notorious gangsters Sadiq and Anwar in Ghatkopar, and Subash Makadwala in 1992.
Sharma belongs to 1983 batch of sub-inspectors. His daredevil approach has earned him the nickname of ‘Ravan’. According to Sharma, serving in the police force is his first job. After a brief stint with the anti-narcotics cell, Sharma was posted to the crime branch of the Mumbai Police. Sharma has developed an army of informers to stay on top of happenings in the underworld. He is now posted at DN Nagar police station.
Police inspector Vijay Salaskar: Credited with 40 encounters, mainly targeting those owing allegiance to Arun Gawli, Salaskar almost decimated the gang. According to police sources, Salaskar tracked Gawli’s key aide Sada Pawle alias Mama for more than eight months before zeroing in on him at Ghatkopar on September 26, 1997. Salaskar had trailed Pawle to Kolhapur several times but deferred the hit as he was not sure of ‘getting’ him.
Subsequently, Salaskar killed another gangster, Jaggu Shetty. Another Gawli aide Sadhu Shetty was gunned down by Salaskar at Trombay in 2004. He is well-known in police circles for his meticulous planning. Salaskar is now a senior inspector in the anti-extortion cell of Mumbai police.
Daya Nayak: On December 31, 1996, revellers were celebrating the new year when they were robbed at Ruia Park in Juhu by a gang. Nayak, a sub-inspector, shot dead two robbers who were out to create trouble that night. When additional commissioner of police Satyapal Singh learnt about it, he was impressed with the young cop and shifted Nayak from the Juhu police station to the crime branch and put him under the tutelage of Pradeep Sharma. Nayak is involved in 75 encounters.
Nayak hails from a poor family; his childhood was a struggle of meeting basic needs. Nayak worked in a Udipi hotel and studied in a night school before passing his SSC examination in 1990. He hails from village Yonneholle in South Kanara district of Karnataka. Some years ago, he faced allegation of corruption. He was suspended from service after a case was registered against him for possessing assets disproportionate to known sources of income.