Antilia Case: Who is Pradeep Sharma, former cop arrested by NIA for involvement in Mukesh Ambani bomb scare incident?

By: |
June 17, 2021 5:46 PM

The NIA had so far arrested around 10 people in connection with the case including Sachin Waze.

Pradeep Sharma NIA Sachin Vaze Antilia CaseJust like Vaze, a key accused in the bomb scare case, Sharma was also an encounter specialist. (Express Photo)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today arrested Shiv Sena leader and former Mumbai cop Pradeep Sharma in connection with the Antilia bomb scare case and businessman Mansukh Hiran’s murder case. A local court has sent him to NIA custody till June 28. Before arresting Sharma, NIA raided his Andheri residence early in the morning. He was suspected of aiding Sachin Vaze in the case. The NIA had earlier questioned him for two days at its office in south Mumbai as part of the investigation.

The NIA had so far arrested around 10 people in connection with the case including Sachin Waze, Riyazuddin Kazi, Sunil Mane, former police constable Vinayak Shinde and cricket bookie Naresh Gour. The central agency recently nabbed Santosh Shelar and Anand Jadhav in connection with the case.

Who is Pradeep Sharma?

Just like Vaze, a key accused in the bomb scare case, Sharma was also an encounter specialist. In fact, Sharma is often termed as the mentor of Sachin Vaze. A 1983-batch police officer, Pradeep Sharma worked with Mumbai Police for 25 years and is said to have killed over a hundred gangsters during his tenure. Sharma’s first posting was at Mahim Police Station.

He was transferred to the crime branch after being noticed for his intelligence-gathering skills. He was assigned the responsibility of eliminating the notorious underworld gangs which flourished in the late 1980s and 90s.

Pradeep Sharma was involved in encounters of Sadik Kalia Parvez Siddiqui, Rafiq Dabbawala and three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists.

However, his journey in the police department was not free from controversy. He was dismissed in 2008 for his alleged connection with the underworld and his name cropped up in the fake 2006 encounter of Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakkhan Bhaiyya.

He was then arrested in 2010 in connection with the case but was acquitted by a Mumbai court in July 2013. After this, Sharma challenged his dismissal order in court and was reinstated in 2017.

He was then given the charge of the anti-extortion cell of the Thane Police and arrested Iqbal Kaskar within a month. He resigned from the department in 2019 to contest polls on the Shiv Sena ticket but lost the election.

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