Encounter Pro Pradeep Sharma, Who Nabbed Dawood’s Brother, Was Suspended In 2009 And Spent Four Years In Jail

Encounter Pro Pradeep Sharma, Who Nabbed Dawood’s Brother, Was Suspended In 2009 And Spent Four Years In Jail

by Swarajya Staff - Sep 19, 2017 04:13 PM +05:30 IST
Encounter Pro Pradeep Sharma, Who Nabbed Dawood’s Brother, Was Suspended In 2009 And Spent Four Years In JailPolice encounter specialists Sachin Vaze (left) and Pradeep Sharma. (Vikas Khot/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
  • Dawood Ibrahim’s brother was nabbed by the Thane anti-extortion cell, whose head is the former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma.

    Back in 2009, Sharma was arrested and put in jail for four years for the Lakhan Bhaiyya encounter case. He was reinstated in the force only this year.

Wanted criminal Dawood Ibrahim’s younger brother, Iqbal Kaskar, was apprehended by the Thane anti-extortion cell yesterday (18 September).

Reports say Kaskar was nabbed after a complaint was registered by a builder facing a threat of extortion. The builder was reeling under debt ever since demonetisation was announced, and had hence decided to reach out to the police for help.

Curiously, the man behind the arrest of Kaskar, who had been threatening builders on behalf of Dawood himself, was former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma.

Sharma, who started as an encounter specialist in the Mumbai police, has to his name the killing of over 112 gangsters, spanning from 1989 to 2006. However, the Lakhan Bhaiyya encounter in 2006 led to his suspension and eventual dismissal from the force three years later, when the United Progressive Alliance government was in power.

Lakhan Bhaiyya, or Narayan Gupta, considered a close aide of gangster Chhota Rajan, was gunned down by 13 policemen in 2006. Sharma and 22 others were tried in court for it, with the former even having spent time in jail from 2009 until the trial court acquitted him of all charges in 2013. The other 21 were convicted and given life imprisonment.

Sharma was then reinstated into the police force in May this year.

In 2008, Rajan had claimed that Sharma was on the payroll of Dawood Ibrahim. Sharma was said to have harboured links with gangsters Chhota Shakeel, Abu Salem, Ijaz Lakdawala and Hemant Poojari as well.

“Sharma has acquired properties worth crores in the name of Dawood’s associates. He claims he can’t be arrested because he is in the drugs business with Dawood. He has lots of money and claims no one can take action against him because he has bought off everyone, even the Home Ministry and the police department,” Rajan told a Marathi news channel on Sharma’s links with Dawood Ibrahim, as reported by India Today in 2008.

At the time, Sharma had dismissed the allegations and said, “I'll fight it out in the court.” In his interviews over the years, Sharma has made statements like, “Mumbai underworld is like a gutter. It is we people who clean it up.”

Recently, after his return to the force, Sharma was unnerved about the fact that his achievements did not take precedence. He was quoted in a Hindustan Times report as saying, “Why can’t you focus on my other accomplishments? I have arrested over 1,200 hardened criminals, detected several intricate cases, and reformed over two dozen hardcore convicts and rehabilitated them in the mainstream.”

The man from the 1983 batch of Maharashtra state police officers, infamously known as the “killer batch”, has now been able to overturn his suspension for the third time. And not too long after his return, Dawood’s brother Kaskar has been nabbed.

Who else from the underground could be arrested next? Perhaps Sharma would know.

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