Dinesh Kadam, the sleuth who blew the lid off the case

Dinesh Kadam, the sleuth who blew the lid off the case

Often referred to as “Rakesh Maria’s shadow”, Inspector Dinesh Kadam is a man whose right hand does not know what his left hand is up to.

It was this no-nonsense, highly secretive officer the Mumbai Police chief had put on the job after receiving a “tip-off from Meerut” recently about the murder of Sheena Bora three years ago.

Kadam has been an integral part of Maria’s team, whether it be the investigation of the March 12, 1993, serial blasts case, the 2008 busting of the Indian Mujahideen network, the 26/11 terror attacks of Mumbai, the German Bakery blasts of Pune or several other criminal cases. Once, in Bhatkal, he was even close to catching Indian Mujahideen founder Riyaz Bhatkal. Wherever Maria has been posted — chief of the elite Crime Branch-CID of the Mumbai Police, which has the reputation of being next only to the Scotland Yard, as Additional Director General of Police heading the Anti-Terrorism Squad, or as Mumbai Police Commissioner — he has ensured Kadam is with him in majority of his sensitive and challenging assignments.

Maria’s Man Friday has always proved his mettle. Their equations, professional rapport and respect for each other began when Maria, as deputy commissioner of police, was investigating the 1993 serial blasts and Kadam was new to the police force. Kadam now knows the Mumbai underworld like the back of his hand, and has eliminated more than two dozen criminals in encounters.

A man with a vast intelligence network, it was he who spotted the Maruti van of Rubina Memon in Worli, from where the role of the Memon family in the 1993 blasts came to light. It was also he who found the keys from the Al Husseini building of a scooter filled with RDX that did not explode. Around three months ago, when Maria received a tip-off about the disappearance and killing of Sheena Bora, he sensed the case's high-profile nature as it involved media tycoon Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani, who has now been arrested for the crime.

Maria ensured that there was nothing amiss, and transferred Kadam from the Crime Branch to the Khar police station, making it look normal.

From Khar, Kadam took on the “special assignment” given by Maria and tracked Indrani's former driver Shyam Rai, who was now an auto-rickshaw driver. He also ensured he kept Indrani under constant watch, whether in the country or on her foreign trips. He also scanned Indrani and Rai's telephone records, and came to know about Sanjeev Khanna, who too was put under watch.

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