Gangster Shyam Dabhade and his aide Dhananjay Shinde were gunned down in an “encounter” with a team from Pune Rural Police in Chakan area early Tuesday morning. Dabhade (43) was the prime suspect in the murder of a BJP leader from Talegaon in October. He had as many as 20 cases — with charges of murder, attempt to murder, and kidnapping for ransom and extortion — registered against him.
Dabhade was also named an accused by Pune Rural Police in the murder of Right to Information activist Satish Shetty in 2010. However, he was not chargesheeted by the CBI, which took over the investigation later.
The local crime branch (LCB) of Pune Rural Police had been on the lookout for Dabhade since the murder of BJP leader Sachin Shelke on October 16 this year.
“In the early hours of Tuesday, the LCB team received a tip-off from a reliable source about Dabhade and his aide Dhananjay Shinde hiding in a forest area on Ambu Hill near Chakan. A search operation was launched,” said Superintendent of Police (Pune rural) Jay Jadhav.
According to police, at 8 am on Tuesday, a team led by Inspector Ram Jadhav was searching for the duo when they spotted a tent near a windmill on Ambu Hill. Two members of the team — Assistant Inspector Rajesh Ramaghare and Sub-inspector Ankush Mane, spotted Dabhade and Shinde in the tent. The two identified themselves as policemen and asked the duo to surrender.
Jadhav said Dabhade and Shinde whipped out their firearms and started firing at the police team. “Inspector Jadhav again shouted at the duo, asking them to surrender, but the two continued firing,” he said.
Both Dabhade and Shinde were injured in the gunfire exchange and they collapsed, said police. They were taken to the rural hospital in Chakan, where they were declared dead.
Police recovered five country-made firearms and 50 live cartridges from their possession.
After Shelke’s murder in October, The Indian Express had reported that the feud between families in Talegaon-Chakan area, fighting over land and industry contracts, had led to a law and order situation in the area.