THE MUMBAI Police Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the alleged fake encounter of Gurgaon gangster Sandeep Gadoli has named Manoj Binder, the brother of Gadoli’s “rival gangster-turned-municipal councillor” Binder Gujjar, as one of the accused in the FIR registered against eight persons.
According to police, they have call records between Manoj and the Gurgaon Police team on the day of the encounter, based on which they included him as one of the private persons in the FIR, which names five policemen. The SIT on Monday sought non-bailable warrants against the eight accused on grounds that they had been evading arrest. A 10-member Mumbai Police team was sent to Gurgaon Monday to arrest the accused.
Gadoli, a Gurgaon-based gangster, was shot dead by a team of the Gurgaon Police inside Hotel Airport Metro, located near Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, on February 7.
While the Gurgaon Police team claimed they had fired in self defence, the SIT has concluded that the encounter was fake.
An officer said while checking the call records of sub-inspector Pradhuman Yadav, who led the Gurgaon Police team, they found he was allegedly in touch with Manoj on the day of the encounter. An officer said a money trail also indicated the involvement of Manoj.
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Gadoli’s family has alleged that the conspiracy was hatched at the behest of Binder Gujjar. Infamous as Gurgaon’s most wanted man, Gadoli was on the run. “He was accused in more than 30 cases, including the killing of the driver of rival gangster-turned-municipal councillor Binder Gujjar in October last year. For years, the two rival gangs fought for control over gambling, alcohol smuggling, extortion and land grab,” said a police source.
This rivalry is the basis for Gadoli’s family also demanding that the SIT investigate a ‘revenge killing’ angle, said sources. Gadoli’s family has alleged an ACP-rank Gurgaon Police officer related to Gujjar is the “mastermind” of the encounter and wants the conspiracy to be unearthed.
SIT chief Avdut Chavan, due to retire on Tuesday, said other persons could be named as accused at a later stage, once the police questioned the accused persons.
Apart from the five policemen, the police have booked a woman who was in Gadoli’s room when the killing took place, said sources. This woman allegedly sent the location of Gadoli to a relative who then passed it on to the Gurgaon Police, the sources added. The police refused to confirm if the woman’s relative was the eighth accused.
Earlier on Monday, advocate Tanveer Nizam, representing Gadoli’s brother Kuldeep Singh, told a Mumbai court that the names of the accused were ‘inadequate’. “It is the prosecution’s case that an eight-member team had travelled to Mumbai for the murder. The ACP, DCP and CP (commissioner of police) of Gurgaon Police are all involved in the conspiracy. The investigating officer has willfully excluded these names,” Nizam told a magistrate’s court.
“The police team travelled for around 1,500 km in a private vehicle with sophisticated weapons. It could not have been without the orders and express permissions of the superiors,” he said.
Nizam added the Mumbai SIT team had accessed CCTV footage from the hotel in which the ‘encounter’ took place. He alleged that despite clear indication of the encounter being staged, the police had not taken any action against the Gurgaon Police officials.
“We are not objecting to the non-bailable warrants, sought from the court. The police has not sought attachment of property. Neither have they widened the ambit to find the role of other police officials in the murder of a civilian,” Nizam said. He also sought for the accused to be declared proclaimed offenders and the probe to be ‘time-bound’. The court will decide on the police plea for warrants on June 1.