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Pradeep Sharma (born 1961) is a serving officer in the police force of Mumbai, India. Sharma attained notoriety an as an "encounter specialist" with the Mumbai Encounter Squad and was involved with the deaths of as many as 112 criminals. On 31 August 2008 he was dismissed from the Mumbai police on charges of corruption but was reinstated on the 9th of May, 2009 after he was proven innocent of those charges. Sharma is believed to have amassed as much as INR 300 crores in illegal wealth. He is also accused of having ties with the criminal organisations of Chotta Rajan and Dawood Ibrahim's D-Company.

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Biography and career

Pradeep Sharma's family was originally from Agra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh before moving to the state of Maharashtra. His father was the prof of English of a degree collage in the town of Dhulia. Pradeep Sharma was born in the Indian state of Uttar pradesh and completed his education from primary to msc in Dhulia,Maharastra.He joined the State Police Service in 1983 as a sub inspector. He was first posted to the Mahim police station in Mumbai and was moved to the special branch in Juhu, Mumbai. Rising to higher ranks, he went to head the police stations in other suburbs of Mumbai, and became a senior inspector at the crime intelligence unit of the Mumbai police. His career spanned 25 years, during which he earned fame for the successful "encounter killings" of as many as 112 criminals, including notorious crime bosses and terrorists belonging to the Lashkar-e-Toiba. He was one of the most famous officers of the Mumbai Encounter Squad.

At the height of his exploits, Sharma once told an international news agency:

The gangs in Mumbai are now on the run. Encounters are an addiction for me. I feel bored on Sundays."[1]

Underworld links

Pradeep Sharma is accused of having maintained close ties with various criminal gangs during his 25 years in the police. Upon joining the Chandan "chowky" (police station), Sharma allegedly kidnapped a local businessman with a fellow officer for extortion. He developed close links with the criminal organisation of Chhota Rajan. He was later accused of corruption, using extortion tactics and threats to businessmen and in cases of land disputes. In the mid-1990s, Sharma is believed to have aligned with the criminal organization of Dawood Ibrahim. He was accused of interfering in the CID investigation of the custodial death of one Khwaja Yunus, but was later exonerated.[2] While heading the Amaravati police station, Sharma was again accused of corruption and involvement in the real-estate mafia and extortion rackets. Media reports quoted a police officer saying that Sharma had amassed as many as INR 3,000 crores in illegal wealth due to his corrupt activities.

Dismissal and Subsequent Reinstatement

On 31 August, 2008 the Maharashtra government dismissed Pradeep Sharma for involvement and contacts with criminals. Police obtained telephonic interceptions of Sharma's conversations with criminals and about criminal activities while the Intelligence Bureau provided intelligence implicating Sharma in the activities of the Dawood Ibrahim gang.[3] However, Sharma is amongst several officers of the encounter squad facing official inquiries. Sharma professed his innocence, described his dismissal as wrongful and accused the Chhota Rajan gang of framing him. Police and media sources speculate that Sharma may be targeted by the Chhota Rajan gang, although dismissed officers are not entitled to police protection.[3] Several media sources have nicknamed him "Bombay's Dirty Harry."[4]

However, on the 7th of May, 2009, Sharma was reinstated to the Mumbai city force of the Maharashtra Police after a state justice tribunal set up to study the allegations rejected the corruption charges against him and ordered his instant reinstatement. Again Pradeep sharma was arrested on 8th Jan 2010 on fake encounter charges of lakhan gupata in dec 2006..

References

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