Former Cop and Shiv Sena leader Pradeep Sharma arrested by NIA

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Former top cop and Shiv Sena leader Pradeep Sharma on Thursday was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from his residence in Andheri area of Mumbai.

A team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had reached the residence of Sharma in Mumbai’s Andheri east area on Thursday morning and initiated a search operation. Sharma was present inside his house when the officials were conducting searches. His helper was communicating with some media personnel denying the inside information.

According to media reports, the arrest was made at the Mumbai office of NIA, just three hours after the NIA team conducted searches at Sharma’s residence.

According to the reports, Sharma was arrested on the basis of statements of other accused mentioning his name and evidence in form of technical data pointing towards his possible role in the Antilia explosive case and the Mansukh Hiran murder case.

Pradeep Sharma, a Shiv Sena leader and former encounter specialist, was questioned twice earlier by NIA officials in connection with the case. He is known to be close to former Mumbai Police cop Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested by the central agency as the main conspirator in both cases.

An NIA team along with armed CRPF personnel raided Sharma’s house at around 6 am, the official said. A search is being carried out, he said. According to sources, Sharma is also being questioned by the NIA team in connection with the case.

According to media reports, the roads leading to the building, where Sharma lives, have been cordoned off by the central security forces and public movement in the area has been restricted. After getting the information about the raid, the Mumbai police also deployed its personnel at the spot.

Pradeep Sharma joined Mumbai Police as sub-inspector in 1983 and has been involved in over 300 encounters related to the Mumbai underworld, out of which, 113 shootouts are in his name. The NIA carried out searches at the residence of former Mumbai Police cop Pradeep Sharma in the Antilia bomb scare case and the murder case of businessman Mansukh Hiran.