Slain gangster Sandeep Gadoli’s body has been in the JJ Hospital mortuary in Mumbai for more than three months. His family has refused to claim the body until the Gurgaon Police officials involved in the ‘encounter’ are arrested and the Supreme Court orders a magisterial probe.
The family wants to bring back his body to their village, Gadoli Khurd in Gurgaon, for cremation, but insists he was killed in a “fake encounter”. “We have provided videos and photographs of the hotel and the spot where he was shot. They show it was a point-blank shooting and not an encounter,” said Sudesh Kataria, Gadoli’s elder sister. She had plans to go to Mumbai, but cancelled her tickets Friday.
Gadoli’s family also wants the Mumbai Police Special Investigation Team (SIT) to include sections of ‘custodial killing’. Kataria claimed Gadoli did not have a weapon at the time he was shot. The family has also alleged that Gurgaon Police flouted Supreme Court guidelines and did not give medical aid to an injured person.
The Indian Express had earlier reported that at least five Gurgaon Police officers were likely to face action after forensic tests confirmed as genuine CCTV footage that purportedly showed two policemen at the door of Gadoli’s room, not helping the gangster who is seen writhing in pain on the floor for almost 20 minutes after being shot, planting a weapon on him and destroying some CCTV cameras.
Citing the CCTV footage, the SIT, in its application, said there was no provocation for the team led by PSI Pradhuman Yadav of Gurgaon Police to open fire, adding it was convinced the encounter was fake and the information provided by Gurgaon Police officers to the local police — stating that Gadoli had fired on them — was incorrect.
In his statement to the SIT, Pradhuman Yadav had said, “Gadoli was alone in the room, lying on the bed. He took a pistol from under the pillow and fired at us. Seeing the threat to our lives, I fired two bullets at Gadoli from my revolver.”
The case had invoked suspicion as the local police had not been informed before the raid.
A source from SIT said apart from the forensic evidence against the accused, they also have statements of three persons closely linked to the conspiracy. The statements have been recorded before a magistrate. Among the three civilians named in the FIR is a woman who was in Gadoli’s room when the killing took place, said the source. The police case is that the woman was asked to be with Gadoli and inform her mother about all their movements. Her mother then informed the Gurgaon Police raiding team, the source added.
Infamous as Gurgaon’s ‘most wanted’, 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. 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 the SIT probe the ‘revenge killing’ angle, said sources. The family has alleged an ACP-rank Gurgaon Police officer related to Gujjar is the “mastermind” of the encounter and wants the conspiracy unearthed. Gurgaon Commissioner of Police, Navdeep Singh Virk, did not respond to emails, messages and calls for comment.
(With inputs from Mohamed Thaver, Mumbai)
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