Encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma has tendered his resignation from Maharashtra police. He is likely to contest assembly elections from BJP or Shiv Sena seat from either Andheri or Nalasopara. Sharma has forwarded his resignation to senior police officer. During his reign as encounter specialist Sharma has conducted more than 113 encounters in his name. He has also arrested Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Iqbal Kaskar.
Senior Advocate Sushan Kunjuraman said, “Pradeep Sharma has taken a right step to quit police force and join politics. Mumbai police department is totally corrupt. Senior police officer suppresses their subordinates. Hence, they quit police force. Mumbai police have failed to support officers who were involved in encounter activities. This is the reason many honest officers have quit the police force.”
“Honest police officers don’t get a free hand to discharge their duties. Competent officer’s feathers are being cut. Very few encounter specialists are remaining in the police department. Pradeep Sharma has realised that the seniors are not allowing him to flourish. He was suffocating and therefore, he quit the police force,” he added.
Pradeep Sharma had joined the Police department in 1983. He was posted at Thane crime branch. Currently, he is a senior police inspector in the tribunal squad of Thane Crime Investigation Department. He has resigned on July 4 and cited personal reason for his resignation. He has served the Mumbai’s crime branch as well as special branch for a large period of time. For the last two years, he has been working as head of the Thane tribunal team. His retirement was due next year. Since assembly polls are approaching Sharma had taken a decision to quit before his actual tenure.
Advocate Manisha Rote, Mahila Pradesh Congress General Secretary said, “People must do social work before joining politics. A candidate must be aware about social issues. Anyone is entering politics without knowing about social issues. They don’t understand about the incidents happening in society and needs of the people. Earlier, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru used to connect with people at grassroot level. Today, politics has changed and it has become Hi-fi. Ethics is missing from politics. Injustice is happening against women and Muslims.”
Pradeep Sharma shares good relationship with many senior leaders of BJP including Shiv Sena. In Vasai and Nalasopara constituency Sharma is likely to contest polls against MLA Hitendra Thakur. Sharma has been participating in many social activities through PS Foundation since last few days. He also has been known for carrying out encounter of three terrorists of Laskhar-e-Taiba, Sadiq Kalya, Vinod Matkar, Suhas Makdwala and Rafiq Dubha.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP Amar Sable said, “Every Indian citizen has the right to vote in election and to contest election. If Pradeep Sharma has tendered resignation to join politics then it is his right.”
Sharma was recently reinstated in service after few years of suspension. The senior inspector was suspended for his alleged involvement in fake encounter case of alleged gangster Lakhan Bhaiya. Sharma and 13 other policemen were arrested in the case and later suspended in 2008.
In 2013, Pradeep Sharma came back after his acquittal. The then Congress-NCP government was reluctant to induct Sharma back in service, but he was finally taken back after he threatened to join politics. Pradeep Sharma was also known for his network in the underworld.
In the ’90s, he was part of the Mumbai crime branch team which was given a free hand to end underworld activities from Mumbai. These officials known as encounter specialists killed more than 300 gangsters in the late 90s. Bollywood made many movies based on the life of these encounter cops. In later years, however, most of these cops got embroiled in controversies.
By Akshay Redij