Antilia bomb scare: Pradeep Sharma, former Mumbai encounter specialist and Shiv Sena leader, arrested after raids by NIA

By: |
June 17, 2021 3:09 PM

Pradeep Sharma had quit his police job in 2019 to contest the Assembly polls on a Shiv Sena ticket but lost.

The NIA raid came after the arrest of Santosh Shelar earlier this week. Reports claimed that there may be a link between Shelar and Sharma.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested Shiv Sena leader and former Mumbai Police encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma in connection with the Antilia Bomb scare case. Earlier today, the agency conducted a raid at his residence in Andheri. The NIA and armed CRPF personnel arrived at Sharma’s residence at 5 am and conducted searches for around six hours. He was later taken to the NIA office for questioning.

The NIA raid came after the arrest of Santosh Shelar earlier this week. Reports claimed that there may be a link between Shelar and Sharma.

Sharma is often said to be the mentor of former Assistant Inspector Sachin Vaze who is the key accused in the case. Some NIA officials have said that they had ‘some definitive clues that Vaze was provided help by Sharma in the Mansukh Hiran’s murder’.

The case is linked to the parking of a SUV with 20 gelatin sticks near Ambani’s residence. It was claimed that the sticks were procured through Pradeep Sharma’s contact. The SUV belonged to businessman Mansukh Hiran who was later murdered allegedly by Vaze.

The NIA had hinted that Sharma met with the accused who were held after the crime. They claimed that he was trying to help Vaze. Sachin Vaze had later claimed that former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had asked him to collect Rs 100 crore every month from restaurants in the city.

Pradeep Sharma had quit his police job in 2019 to contest the Assembly polls on a Shiv Sena ticket but lost.

A 1990-batch officer of Maharashtra cadre, Vaze’s service was reinstated in June 2020 by the Maha Vikas Aghadi government after a gap of 16 years due to suspension in a case related to the custodial death of Khwaja Yunus, an accused in the Ghatkopar bomb blast of 2002. After his return, he was appointed the head of the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) which is an elite branch of the Mumbai Crime Branch.

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