Family says Haryana gangster Sandeep Gadoli was killed in cold blood
Gangster's sisters allege a Gurgaon officer, currently detained by Mumbai Crime Branch in connection with case, had vowed in December to shoot him dead; dig out evidence in parallel probe, refuse to take body
Sisters of Sandeep Gadoli, the Gurgaon man with 36 cases of murder and extortion against him, have alleged that the Haryana police murdered their brother in cold blood when he slept in his room at Hotel Airport Metro on Sunday.
Also read: Dreaded gangster shot dead in Andheri hotel
Sudesh Kataria and Jyotsana Gulia have been in the city since Sunday and have refused to take Gadoli’s body till a fair probe is instituted into his death.
The sisters of Sandeep Gadoli have camped outside JJ Hospital, refusing to accept his body. Jyotsana (in pink sweater) and Sudesh (in blue jacket) said Gadoli, who the Gurgaon police claim was killed in an encounter, was murdered in cold blood. Pic/Bipin Kokate
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 told mid-day that this clearly showed Gadoli was killed while he was sleeping. They also said the Mumbai Crime Branch has not even begun its enquiry into the circumstances of the probe.
The sisters have even started their own parallel investigation and have already collected what they say is evidence to show that the cops had a mole in the group that was traveling with Gadoli. They said this mole – a Kazakh call girl or an Indian woman friend – constantly gave information about their brother’s location to the Haryana police.
"We want justice for our brother," Sudesh told mid-day. "We won’t claim his dead body from the JJ mortuary till the Mumbai police book the Gurgaon police team for the cold-blooded murder."
The car in which the girls travelled to Mumbai
The sisters have not slept properly for the last two days, with even their luggage kept in one corner of the mortuary. The only time they left the mortuary was to check into the same hotel where their brother was killed to ferret out ‘evidence’ to prove that it was a fake encounter.
The girl’s Facebook posts, through which cops tracked Gadoli
Atulchandra Kulkarni, Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, told mid-day: "Our investigation is underway and whoever has anything to share pertaining to the case, including the relatives of the deceased, will be approached by our probe team."
On Monday night, a panel of three forensic surgeons from the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Grant Medical College and Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, conducted the autopsy on Gadoli, 32. The procedure was delayed as the magisterial inquest panchnama was completed only by 6 pm on Monday. The body also had to be x-rayed to identify the locations of the bullets lodged inside Gadoli’s body.
Dr SS Bhise (associate forensic professor), Dr PS Dode and Dr Ajay Kamble (both resident forensic surgeons) noted a total of three entry wounds and one exit wound. A bullet each was fired into Gadoli’s right and left abdomen, which ruptured his liver. The third bullet had entered the body from the left shoulder and came out from the left chest anterior side, damaging the left lung.
The provisional cause of death was given as "shock and hemorrhage due to firearm injuries (unnatural)". The procedure was videotaped. The surgeons have sent the skin around the entry and exit area of the bullets to the FSL, Kalina. The burn marks caused by the gunpowder will help the forensic surgeons ascertain the range from which the bullets were fired.
Gadoli’s nail clippings have been preserved to check for any other person’s DNA. The forensic experts also washed Gadoli’s handwash (water used to rinse the deceased person’s hands), which will be tested for carbon residues to ascertain if he had fired a weapon.
Mole in the gang?
Sudesh and Jyotsana alleged that the Gurgaon police had used a woman as a mole to track Gadoli. Sudesh said Gadoli had told her on Tuesday that he was going to Goa with friends.
"We did not suspect any foul play, as he was unmarried and was known to go underground fearing the Gurgaon police," said Sudesh. "At 12.30 am on Sunday, we started WhatsApp messages that Mumbai TV channels were airing news about Sandeep’s killing in an encounter. We started calling senior police officials, but got no reply."
Sudesh said it was actually the Mumbai police who called them, and even they only told them Gadoli was injured and just asked us to come to Mumbai. Jyotsana alleged that within minutes of landing at Mumbai airport, she called a Gurgaon police officer who said Sandeep was dead.
The sisters said that sometime in November 2015, this police officer – presently detained by Mumbai Crime Branch – had threatened to kill their brother in an encounter. (mid-day has withheld his name as we could not confirm his identity from the Gurgaon police)
"He had said ‘Uske seene mein goli maroonga’ (I will shoot him in the chest)," said Sudesh. "We were so worried that we called for a press conference in Gurgaon on December 1, 2015 and made public our fear that the police may kill Gadoli in a fake encounter. "The cops retreated after that, but Sandeep spoke about going underground. Exactly two months after the press conference, the police officer did exactly what he had threatened to do. He shot my brother when he was asleep."
Grieving family turns sleuths
Sudesh holds a PhD in political science and Jyotsana is an activist who has an MA in English literature. They said Sandeep was studying to become a lawyer and was in the second year of his course.
Sandeep Gadoli’s sisters Sudesh Kataria (right) and Jyotsana Gulia outside JJ Hospital. Pic/Bipin Kokate
The sisters said the family hails from Gadoli in Gurgaon where they have vast ancestral properties. They claimed that most of the cases against Sandeep were due to pressure from a rival Gujjar gang. They said most cases were set aside due to lack of evidence.
The sisters said when they visited Hotel Airport Metro, Marol, they were not allowed in by the investigating police officers citing the inquiry. The two then checked into the same hotel later in the evening and stayed in room 204 to carry out their own probe.
“We found out from the hotel staff that half an hour before the shooting, the Gurgaon cops broke the camera installed on the ground floor,” said Jyotsana. “We also learned from the hotel staff that Sandeep was fast asleep when the police barged into his room and shot him dead.”
When asked how they could ascertain this, the sisters said the hotel staff told them there was no call from Sandeep’s room after 10 pm. They said there was no forced entry into the room, adding that they suspected that the woman sharing the room with Sandeep allowed the cops in even as their brother slept.
“Had it been an encounter, Sandeep would have sustained bullet wounds all over his body,” said Jyotsana. “The woman with him would have sustained some injuries, but she did not sustain a scratch. ”
When the sisters checked the hotel register, room 107 was booked for Sandeep’s friend Manish Khurana. In all, three rooms were booked – 107, 106 and 205. No room was booked in Sandeep’s name.
Quoting the hotel staff, the sisters said that while the two Kazakhstan women accompanying their brother occupied room 106, Sandeep and his Gurgaon-based Indian woman friend were in room 107. His friend Manish Khurana took room 205.
The sisters then traced the woman in Sandeep’s room and found that she was broadcasting all travel plans and their locations constantly on social media. Jyotsana said it is likely that the woman was a mole for the Gudgaon. They said the hotel staff told them that a team of Gudgaon police visited the hotel even before Sandeep reached, to allegedly reconnoiter the place.
“They apparently told the hotel staff to allot a ground floor room to Sandeep as there were multiple cameras in the upper floors,” said Jyotsana. “They also broke the camera on the ground floor to ensure that the murder will not be caught on camera. A second team came in soon after Sandeep checked in and in 12 hours they executed their heinous plan.”
Gadoli’s family has approached their lawyers in Gurgaon and also hired a lawyer in Mumbai. They said they have been advised not to claim the body until the Gurgaon police team indulged in the operation is booked for murder.
“We have faith in Mumbai police and are hopeful that our brother will get justice,” said Sudesh. “If we take the dead body to Gurgaon, the local police there will compel us to carry out the cremation and then everything will be over. We have no faith in Gurgaon police. My brother is no more, and he won’t come back, but with his dead body we will ensure that he get justice.”
Jyostana added: “My brother was not a terrorist, nor he was a threat like Qasab. The Gurgaon police could have arrested him, but their sole intention was to kill him.”
The sisters said they might even approach the Bombay High Court seeking intervention. When asked if the Mumbai Crime Branch has gone through the supposed evidence they have collected so far, Sudesh said, “We have not been informed anything by the police nor have they recorded our statements. We are keen to meet senior police officials probing the case.”