The first arrest was recently made in the Sandeep Gadoli fake encounter case, with Gurgaon Police Sub-Inspector Pradyuman Yadav being nabbed. We take a look at 10 important developments in the case so far.
Girlfriend convinced Gadoli to drop arms: After evading the cops for years, Gadoli was finally done in by a honeytrap – his 19-year-old girlfriend Divya Pahuja, who allegedly convinced him to get rid of his weapon, leaving him defenceless against the Haryana cops who shot him down. She came into contact with Gadoli through his friend, Manish Khurana, who also runs the hotel where she used to work. Sources close to investigation said that the accused cops had instructed Divya, as well as Manish, to ensure that Gadoli was without his weapon at the time of his ‘encounter’ in Mumbai. Through her mother, Divya informed the Gurgaon cops that the target was unarmed, said sources. The mother-daughter duo was to get Rs 2 crore for this job; claims the Gadoli family’s advocate, Tanveer Nizam.
Gadoli's girlfriend 'on the run': As the girlfriend of Gadoli, and the only witness to his death at the hands of the Gurgaon police, Divya Pahuja holds the key to the case, as she is also a suspect. But after changing her statement repeatedly and misdirecting the Mumbai police, the struggling actress has managed to give them the slip. Divya managed to evade arrest on two occasions. Twice, Mumbai cops went looking for her at her houses in Gurgaon and Delhi, but did not find her there.
Did Gadoli fire at police? Ballistic experts attached to the state Forensic Science Laboratory have not found any gun shot residue in the handwash of gangster Sandeep Gadoli, who was allegedly shot dead in a shoot out at Hotel Airport Metro, Sakinaka, in the wee hours of February 7. The handwash was taken during the autopsy process on February 10 at JJ postmortem centre by a panel of three forensic surgeons, to find if the deceased had opened fire before being killed. The Haryana police have alleged that Gadoli opened fire on the raiding police team and in retaliation, they opened fire, injuring him. He was later declared dead at Cooper Hospital.
Gadoli was shot in the back, reveals SIT probe: One of the three bullets that killed Gadoli had entered from his back and pierced its way through his chest, reveal investigations that have now blown a hole in the Gurgaon police’s theory that they were forced to shoot because Gadoli opened fire on them. This was revealed in a new medical report which also states that Gadoli received a blunt trauma injury at the back of his neck, where he may been rammed with a pistol butt.
When Gadoli’s family refused to claim his body: A fortnight after Sandeep Gadoli was gunned down in an Andheri hotel, neither his body nor his family’s questions about his death had been laid to rest. His family refused to claim his mortal remains until an FIR was registered against the Gurgaon cops who fired at him. This became a major cause for worry, as the dreaded gangster’s body started to emit a foul smell. “Only his body can help us get justice. Once we cremate him, our fight will go unheard. We won’t be able to expose the fake encounter and the Haryana police involved in the cold-blooded killing will go scot-free,” her cousin Jyotsna had said back then.
Gadoli's pistol may have been planted by cops: Allegations that the gangster was killed in a fake encounter gathered momentum with the investigation suggesting that he may not even have been armed. According to sources in the Mumbai Crime Branch investigating the case, CCTV footage from the hotel showed Gurgaon cops shooting at Gadoli and then throwing a pistol near him, later claiming it was his firearm.
‘Operation Khatma’: In February this year, Crime Branch sources revealed that Gurgaon Police had named the operation 'KHATMA', hinting that the encounter was premeditated. They added that Divya, who was inside the hotel room with Gadoli at the time of his encounter, was in constant touch with her mother over the phone. And it was her mother who passed the information about Gadoli’s whereabouts to Gurgaon Police. A scrutiny of Divya’s Call Detail Record (CDR) revealed that she was in constant touch with her mother during her sojourn with Gadoli.
Family claims Gadoli was killed in cold blood: Sisters of Gadoli have alleged that the Haryana police murdered their brother in cold blood when he slept in his room at Hotel Airport Metro. Autopsy reports said Gadoli suffered three bullet wounds, one in the chest that exited through his back and two more — on either side of his torso — that ruptured his internal organs and were lodged inside him. Sudesh and Jyotsana had told mid-day that this clearly showed Gadoli was killed while he was sleeping.
‘Informed Mumbai Police, but they gave us just a constable’: Gurgaon cops earlier claimed that they had informed the local police of their plans to arrest Gadoli and had even asked for assistance. 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.
‘Gurgaon ACP took Rs 5 crore to kill Gadoli’: The family of Gadoli has even claimed that he was killed in a fake encounter at the behest of a rival mobster. Days after his murder, they moved the Bombay High Court seeking an FIR against Gurgaon cops involved in the shootout. They even named an ACP who they claim took Rs 5 crore to end Sandeep's life.