Sandeep Gadoli, an alleged Gurgaon-based gangster with a reward of Rs 1 lakh for information on his whereabouts, was reportedly killed in a Mumbai hotel room on Sunday morning following a shootout between the gangster and the Gurgaon Crime Branch, who said they had tracked him down through four states.
The alleged shootout out took place around 11 am at Hotel Airport Metro, a hotel near the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Andheri East.
With the Gurgaon Police team conducting the operation without informing their local counterparts, the Mumbai Police objected immediately. “They had to move in but there were civilians in the area, including the hotel. They brought in heavy weapons including AK 47s,” said a senior police officer. He said the Gurgaon police team claimed to have called the control room and that the Mumbai Police would inquire whether information had been received and properly processed. “We are checking the police record,” Dhananjay Kulkarni, spokesperson, Mumbai Police. “The commissioner of police has transferred investigation of the encounter at Airport Metro Hotel to Crime Branch, Mumbai,” added Kulkarni.
An employee of Hotel Airport Metro said, “Sixty per cent of the hotel was full. There were a lot of guests in the hotel.”
Gadoli, who was wanted in Haryana for at least 30 cases, including eight murders, was in a room on the ground floor, while two persons believed to be his associates were in a room on the first floor. A third room was reportedly for two foreign women who were accompanying them.
The Gurgaon Crime Branch team, meanwhile, said they have been tracking Gadoli’s movements ever since Gadoli fled Haryana. “His first stop was in Harayana’s Bhiwadi area, then Jaipur after which the absconding accused drove all the way to Mumbai in a white SUV,” said the police inspector leading the Gurgaon Crime Branch team that chased Gadoli to Mumbai in two vehicles.
“We were eight of us, while each of us had a pistol we also had heavy machine guns such as AK 47s and Single Loading Rifles. While five persons entered the hotel, two approached Gadoli’s room and three went to the first floor. Two of us stayed in the front and a third person at the back of the hotel in case a suspect tried to flee,” the Gurgaon police inspector said.
He added that his officers first knocked at Gadoli’s door and when he opened the door and saw that it was the police he tried shutting the door. “Gadoli removed his pistol and fired at them. They neutralized him by firing back. Two of my officers were injured,” said the officer.
A witness, a staffer present in the passageway, said the guest appeared to have been shot as soon as he opened the door. Gadoli was shirtless and appeared to have just woken up, he said. The Gurgaon police said the team on the first floor then approached his alleged associates. The officers said a short exchange of fire took place “but the two were quick to surrender”. One of the associates had a pistol, according to the police team.
Gadoli was reported dead at 12.55 pm by doctors at R N Cooper Hospital. The alleged associates taken into custody were identified as Manish Kurana and one man identified only as Deepak.