- The ex-Mumbai cop’s reported proximity to two accused in the Antilia bomb scare case and Mansukh Hiran murder has put him on NIA radar
Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out searches at the house of Pradeep Sharma, Shiv Sena leader and former ‘encounter specialist’ of Mumbai police, in connection with the bomb scare case at Antilia, the residence of Reliance Industries promoter Mukesh Ambani, as well as the death of businessman Mansukh Hiran. The NIA had arrested two accused in the case, both of whom were said to be close aides of Sharma. This has put him on the NIA radar.
An explosive-laden SUV was found parked outside Ambani’s multi-storeyed residence, Antilia, in South Mumbai on February 25 this year. Mansukh Hiran, who was said to be the owner of the SUV, was found dead a few days later. A case of murder had been registered after investigation.
Former Mumbai cop Sachin Vaze, the prime accused in the two cases, was arrested on March 13.
Sharma, also known as an encounter specialist, had joined Mumbai police as a sub-inspector in 1983. He has been named in 113 encounters. He was earlier dismissed from service in 2008 and then reinstated in 2017. He joined Shiv Sena after taking voluntary retirement in 2019. He contested from the Nala Sopara seat during the Maharashtra Assembly, but lost.
Besides Vaze, Riyazuddin Kazi, Sunil Mane, Vinayak Shinde and booking Naresh Gor have been named as accused in the case.
On February 25 this year, an explosive-laden SUV was found parked near Antilia. The car belonged to Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran. He had claimed that his SUV had been stolen. He was found dead in Mumbra on March 5.
Two days back, the NIA arrested two persons in connection with the case—Santosh Shelar and Anand Jadhav. They were produced before the court which granted NIA their custody till June 21. The duo allegedly took Hiran with them in a car on March 4, in which he is believed to have been murdered.
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