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Monday,27-September-2021

Crime

NIA raids ex-encounter specialist’s Mumbai home, detains him

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Pradeep-Sharma

In a significant development, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma’s Andheri home and later detained him, as part of the ongoing probe into the cases of SUV planting and businessman Mansukh Hiran murder, here on Thursday morning.

An NIA team along with the Mumbai Police swooped at his home, carried out searches and later detained Sharma for questioning.

The NIA action came in the sensational case of the SUV with 20 gelatin sticks and a threat note abandoned near Antilia, home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani on February 25.

Soon after that, the police recovered the body of the SUV owner from the Thane Creek marshes on March 5, as both the cases triggered a huge political row.

Sharma, a controversial former Senior Police Inspector and later a Shiv Sena activist, had been earlier interrogated by the NIA a couple of times last April.

Last week, the NIA had arrested two other persons Santosh Atmaram Shelar and Anand Pandurang Jadhav, both from a slum pocket in Kurar village of Malad east for their roles in the twin cases.

Police sources said that after their custodial interrogation more details of Sharma emerged and culminated in today’s action.

Earlier, the NIA had arrested five other persons including former policemen like Sachin Vaze, Riyazuddin Kazi, Sunil Mane, a convicted ex-cop Vinayak Shinde and a cricket bookies Naresh Gor.

Sharma is reported to be close to Vaze, who is named as one of the prime accused in the SUV-Hiran case, and the duo had allegedly met in early-March when the plot to eliminate Hiran was hatched, while Sharma had gone to the Mumbai Police Commissionerate to meet some other persons.

A former college professor-turned-policeman of the 1983 batch state cadre, he built up a formidable reputation for wiping out the Mumbai mafia through the so-called ‘encounter killings’.

However, Sharma was dismissed from the police force in 2008 for alleged links with the underworld, but was reinstated after 10 years when the charges against him failed.

He started his second innings with a bang by arresting Iqbal Ibrahim Kaskar — the younger sibling of absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar — in September 2017, on extortion charges.

In 2019, he quit the police force to join the Shiv Sena and contested the Assembly elections unsuccessfully from Nalasopara constituency in Palghar.

Crime

Huge cache of weapons seized under ‘Operation Disarm’ by TN Police

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The special police team constituted by Tamil Nadu Director General of Police C. Sylendra Babu, named ‘Operation Disarm’, has seized more than 900 weapons, including three firearms.

The raids conducted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning also rounded up 2,500 rowdy elements in South Tamil Nadu.

The arrest and seizure of weapons followed the four beheadings that took place in South Tamil Nadu, specifically in Dindigul and Tirunelveli districts in the past 12 days.

The DGP in a high-level meeting of the police officers at Madurai directed them to investigate murder cases that were even ten years old. He also called upon the officers to conduct routine raids at the residences and premises of rowdy elements in these districts.

The DGP also told the police officers to round up and arrest those people who can be involved in possible retaliatory attacks. Police officers said that the DGP also directed them to intensify night patrolling and not to allow any untoward incidents to happen in the days to come.

According to a senior DSP who was present in the meeting, the DGP was furious over the back-to-back murders in these districts and the resurgence of caste wars that had dominated South Tamil Nadu during the mid-1990s.

Sociologist and Professor at a foreign university M.K. Krishnan, who hails from Madurai, while speaking to IANS said, “Police have to take stringent action against those who take law into their hands. However, unless the sublime issue of caste is not weeded out this will reappear in one form or the other.

“While the present DMK government has had a good start, the awareness on the futility of fights over castes have to be inculcated in young minds and for that good education is very important. These youths who are involved in beheadings will not be allowed to be given any heroic receptions.”

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Crime

Carcass of tiger found in Dudhwa reserve

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The carcass of a tiger was found on Sunday in the Mailani range of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.

The carcass was found alongside the Gola-Pilibhit road near Chhedipur village here and the tiger is said to be two years old.

Sanjay Kumar Pathak, field director of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR), said that all vital organs, including jaws and nails, were intact though there were some abrasion marks on the carcass.

“The circumstances indicate that the tiger died in a road accident or it could be due to fighting during the mating season,” Pathak said.

He said the exact cause of the death could be ascertained after post mortem by a team of experts from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly.

The post mortem would be conducted according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines, Pathak said.

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Crime

Pramod Tiwari denies hand in attack on BJP MP

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Former Congress MP Pramod Tiwari has rejected the allegation that he was behind the attack on Pratapgarh BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta.

Tiwari, speaking on the phone, said, “He is trying to gain attention in the party and increase his TRP ahead of the Assembly elections.”

Tiwari alleged that Gupta had himself torn his clothes and there might have been a scuffle between the workers which somebody told me. Nobody attacked the MP, Tiwari said.

The BJP MP had alleged that the supporters of Congress leader Pramod Tiwari had beaten him on Saturday as the supporters of both clashed at the ‘Garib Kalyan Mela’ in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP alleged that the video of the attack was a proof and Gupta was beaten up in the presence of Tiwari and his daughter Aradhana Mishra, who is congress leader in the Assembly.

Both have refuted the allegation and said, “Gupta was making allegations because in Pratapgarh BJP was feeling helpless, so they are resorting to such cheap tactics.”

Congress MP Pramod Tiwari, Congress legislature party leader Aradhana Mishra and 48 others have been booked under Section 307 (attempt to murder), 146 (rioting) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) at the Lalganj police station in Pratapgarh.

The case was registered late on Saturday night after BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta, with his supporters, blocked traffic on the Prayagraj-Pratapgarh road for several hours.

Earlier on Saturday, several people were injured as Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers came to blows during the Gareeb Kalyan Mela held at Sangipur development block auditorium in Pratapgarh district.

BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta was also allegedly beaten up and had to be rescued by the police and escorted to a safe place.

Congress leader Pramod Tiwari was also manhandled and Aradhana Mishra’s mobile phone was lost in the melee.

According to reports, BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta was invited as the chief guest at the Gareeb Kalyan Mela but he came late.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Pramod Tiwari and Aradhana Mishra ‘Mona’ reached the Mela venue and a few minutes later, the BJP MP also arrived, leading to tension among the Congress and BJP workers.

After a heated argument, both groups attacked each other. In a video which went viral, it can be seen that some people chased his vehicle and damaged it. The programme was also suspended following the chaos. Heavy force reached the spot and controlled the situation.

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