Informed Mumbai Police, but they gave us just a constable: Gurgaon cops on gangster shootout
Gurgaon cops say they asked the local police for help to arrest gangster Sandeep Gadoli, but were paid scant attention; Mumbai cops say there’s no evidence of this
A day after Gurgaon gangster Sandeep Gadoli’s sisters alleged that he was killed in a fake encounter by the Gurgaon police in an Andheri hotel, even more questions are being raised about this case, with the Gurgaon cops claiming that they had informed the local police of their plans to arrest Gadoli and had even asked for assistance. This is a major twist in the Andheri shootout case, which the Mumbai Crime Branch is currently probing to find out whether the Gurgaon cops broke protocol during the incident.
Sandeep Gadoli was gunned down by the Gurgaon cops in his hotel room on Sunday morning
Sources in the Mumbai Crime Branch also said that the Gurgaon team of eight cops had intimated them about their plans to arrest Gadoli and asked for assistance. However, the officer they spoke to allegedly took the matter lightly and assigned just one constable to help them. No entry was made in the official records about this interaction. The Gurgaon cops, in their statement to the Crime Branch, also said they had called the police control room but got no response. Mumbai cops will now go through CCTV footage from three police stations, as well as records from the control room, to verify these claims.
Gadoli was gunned down in his hotel room at the Airport Metro Hotel in Andheri on Sunday morning. He had 36 criminal offences registered against him, and a bounty of R1.25 lakh was promised for him. Crime Branch officials from Gurgaon were tracking him in three different states until they found out he had checked into the Andheri hotel on Saturday. Gadoli was travelling with two of his friends (estate agents) and three women, two of whom were foreigners.
After leaving Gurgaon, they first went to Delhi where they stayed for a day and went sightseeing. The same thing happened when they went to Jaipur next. On Saturday night they came to Mumbai. A police officer said.
“The Gurgaon cops were tracking them and had clear information about Gadoli’s location. Gadoli, along with the Indian woman, checked into the ground-floor room, while his two friends and the other two women checked into a room on the upper floor.”
The Gurgaon team took the master key to Gadoli’s room; one officer and two constables entered the room, while the remaining cops secured the hotel premises and the other room booked by Gadoli’s party. According to the statement of the Gurgaon police, Gadoli was lying on the bed with a loaded country-made pistol next to him. He had just woken up and was watching TV, while his woman friend was in the bathroom.
The cops said Gadoli was the first to fire. Two cops got injured, after which, they retaliated. A total of ten rounds were fired, of which three bullets hit Gadoli.
The local police reached the spot after the firing and rushed Gadoli and the injured cops to hospital, where the gangster was declared dead.
However, serious questions were raised about the way the Gurgaon cops handled the incident and why they had not enlisted the help of the local police, who said they had no idea about any of it.
“It is not necessary for cops from outside the city to inform us, but they could have asked for assistance. If any negligence by them is found, a report will be sent to the Gurgaon police, which will carry out a departmental inquiry against them,” said a senior Crime Branch officer, while another cops added that they were going through the hotel’s CCTV footage to figure out the sequence of events during the shootout. They also recovered a country-made pistol and some cash from Gadoli’s room.
The Gurgaon cops maintain that they had sought the help of Mumbai Police. They said they were acquainted with a few policemen here and went to a local police station to inform them of the next day’s attempt to arrest Gadoli.
A Crime Branch officer said, “The officer at the police station took it very lightly and gave one constable for assistance. He even told the Gurgaon police to give the constable tea and snacks after the arrest. This was not reported in the police station diary. The Gurgaon cops even did not bother to give a letter, as they wanted to take full credit for Gadoli’s arrest and collect the reward of over R1 lakh.”
“We are collecting CCTV footage from the MIDC, Andheri and Sahar police stations to check whether the Gurgaon police had approached them. We wrote to all three stations, as well as the Mumbai Police west zone control room and the main control room to check whether they were informed. However, as of now, we have found nothing on record to show that they informed us,” said a Mumbai Crime Branch officer. All the eight cops from Gurgaon police will stay in Mumbai till the investigation is over. They are currently staying in Navi Mumbai.