HomeIndia NewsEx-junior-turned-rival key to Sharma’s arrest | India News

Ex-junior-turned-rival key to Sharma’s arrest | India News

MUMBAI: Encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma is close to several influential politicians in Maharashtra and the Centre, but none could save him this time. It is believed that Sharma’s former junior officer-turned-rival played a crucial part in unearthing his role in the Antilia explosives case which culminated in his arrest.
The officer, during his stint with state anti-terrorism squad, which first investigated the murder of Mansukh Hiran, helped the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in gathering some of the crucial evidence that culminated in the arrest of assistant police inspector Sachin Waze and now Sharma.
A senior police officer said Sharma always believed that he was a ‘supercop’ because of the support extended by some officers. “But later some of the seniors dumped him when they realised that it was not in their interest to be associated with him,” the officer said.
In the late 90s, Pradeep Sharma was at his peak when he gunned down gangsters in encounters. He first courted controversy for the custodial death of Ghatkopar bomb blast accused Khwaja Yunus. He escaped unscathed. In 2009, Sharma was arrested for the 2006 fake encounter of Chhota Rajan gang member Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiya. He was acquitted in the case, but in the intervening period, the state government dismissed him for his alleged underworld links. He was later reinstated following a court order.
In 2014, Sharma’s NGO, PS Foundation, put up several posters of him in Andheri after he decided to contest the election from the Andheri (E) assembly constituency. He met then BJP president and home minister Amit Shah for a party ticket. But BJP, Sena, and RPI(A) contested the election jointly and the seat went to Sena. He then filed his nomination as an Independent candidate but later withdrew the nomination.
In July 2019, Sharma resigned from the force to try his luck in politics. Shiv Sena denied him a ticket from the Andheri constituency, but gave him a chance to contest from Nalasopara . He lost, but decided to remain with the party. Sources said Sharma helped Sena to keep a close watch on its party MLAs during the uncertainty over the formation of the state government after the 2019 Assembly election results.

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