Former Mumbai police encounter specialist and Shiv Sena leader Pradeep Sharma was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday (June 17) in connection with the Antilia bomb scare case and Mansukh Hiran’s murder.
The NIA took help of the local police to conduct raids at Sharma’s Mumbai house on Thursday morning. The area around Sharma’s house in JB Nagar was cordoned off well before the arrest.
A few days back, NIA had questioned Sharma for two days with regards to the two cases.
Former police officers Sachin Waze, Riyazuddin Kazi, Sunil Mane, former constable Vinayak Shinde and cricket bookie Naresh Gour are already in the NIA custody. Santosh Shelar and Anand Jadhav were arrested a few days back for allegedly conspiring to plant explosives in an SUV and parking it outside billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s multi-storied house in South Mumbai.
Pradeep Sharma, who is the inspiration behind popular Bollywood film ‘Aab Tak Chappan’, is the most well known “encounter specialist” Mumbai police team ever had. His last assignment was as head of anti-extortion cell with Thane police. He then took voluntary retirement and joined Shiv Sena. Sharma unsuccessfully contested the 2019 assembly elections from Nalasopara in Palghar district.
Sharma came in the ambit of investigations because he was the mentor of Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze, who is the prime suspect in the Antilia terror scare case. Sharma and Waze are believed to be close to Param Bir Singh, who was their reporting officer in the 90’s.
On February 25, an abandoned SUV was found parked outside Mukesh Ambani’s house, Antilia. On examination, police found it was laden with explosives. The vehicle was owned by a Thane-based businessman, Mansukh Hiran, who was found dead at a creek on March 5.
Both the cases were being investigated by the Mumbai police, but later taken over by the NIA.