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Shootout at Wadala may revive gang war: Encounter specialist

On Thursday, Mumbai’s ‘original’ encounter specialist retired ACP Isaque Bagwan hit out at the factual inaccuracies of the Sanjay Gupta movie ‘Shootout at Wadala’. He clarified that the film’s antagonist, Manya Surve, was only a small-time crook and said that the only time he ever heard or saw Surve was the fateful day on which he encountered him.

Isaque Bagwan
Isaque Bagwan retired in 2009, after 35 years in service

The veteran cop also warned that the incorrect depictions in the movie was sure to open up old wounds and result in gang warfare on the city’s streets. The movie is expected to release on May 1, 2013. In a statement to the press, Bagwan said that he was ‘not responsible’ for the misleading facts presented in the movie.

“I talked to [Gupta] about the events/scenarios of the gangs, the robberies, the crimes that had taken place during the years of 1980 onwards… I gave a No Objection Certificate (for the film) only after they promised to portray the truth,” he said. He clarified that, in the movie, Surve has been depicted as an aide of don Dawood Ibrahim and his brother Sabir, which is completely untrue. Though Surve has been depicted as a smuggler and assassin, he was, in reality, an ‘independent street robber’.

Surve was not the one responsible for the murder of Sabir - that was solely the work of three members of the Pathan gang, Amirzada Nawab Khan, Alamzeb Jangrez Khan Pathan and Jaffer Jamaal Siddique.“Wrong depiction of the killings would anger and hurt the sentiments of the families of the deceased from the ‘Kaskar’ side as well as the ‘Pathan’ side. The families and kin are very much alive and may retaliate and cause problems. Wrong depiction would also portray that faulty convictions were ordered by the Court of Law,” he warned.

“I only saw Manya Surve on the day that I shot him,” his statement said. “I was enrolled in the team to nab Manya Surve at the last moment. I was never involved with any investigation of ‘Sabir Ibrahim Kaskar’ and had never met him or any of his accomplices. No help from the underworld was ever taken by the Police, when we were out to nab ‘Manya Surve’.” Gupta refuted all claims and said that he was not aware of any such allegation.

The encounter
Acting on a tipoff, the then-sub inspectors Raja Tambat and Isaque Bagwan killed Manohar Arjun Surve aka Manya Surve at Wadala on January 11, 1982. Surve had gone to pick up his girlfriend near Ambedkar College junction. While returning fire, Surve was felled by police bullets. He was then taken to KEM Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. According to Bagwan, Surve was a robber and had no gang affiliations, and was shot in self-defence. 

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