Pradeep Sharma to contest Maha polls from Nalasopara

Encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma

Encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma is all set for a new inning and contest the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly polls. 

Last month, he had applied for VRS, which has been approved by the Maharashtra government. 

Sharma, who is currently a Senior Inspector of Police, heading the Anti-Extortion Cell of Thane police,  will be relieved in the next few days. 

Sharma was due to retire in May 2020,  but he opted for VRS. After formally joining Shiv Sena,  Sharma is likely to contest the polls from Nalasopara in Palghar district near Mumbai.
Sharma, however, had preferred mum on his future course of action.

The Nalasopara township in Vasai Tehsil is the stronghold of Hitendra Thakur-led Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA). Thakur's son Kshitij Thakur currently represents Nalasopara.

Sharma hails from famed 1983-batch of Maharashtra State Police Service and during the nearly 35 years of policing,  he had eliminated 113 criminals. 

Sharma,  59, originally hails from Agra in Uttar Pradesh. His father was a professor in Dhule district.

In 1983,  he passed out from the Maharashtra Police Academy and joined the force as a sub-inspector.

Sharma's batchmates include officers like Prafulla Bhosale,  Ravindranath Angre and Vijay Salaskar,  who laid down his life during the 26/11 terror attacks.

On 31 August 2008,  he was summarily dismissed for alleged links with crime syndicates but was reinstated on 16 August 2017,  following order from the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal.

Sharma's name also came up in the 2006 Lakhan Bhaiya fake encounter case but he was acquitted by a Mumbai court. His role has been portrayed in several Bollywood movies.
He was one of those instrumental on breaking the backbone of the underworld in Mumbai and had eliminated criminals of various gangs. He also led the encounter in which terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba.

In 2007, he had arrested Iqbal Kaskar,  the brother of underground don Dawood Ibrahim, on charges of extortion.

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