Petition exposes rivalry between police officials

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Mumbai, Jan 7 (UNI) A writ petition filed before the Bombay high court has exposed a rivalry between different groups of ''encounter specialist'' police officials from the city police, alleging that a group led by Vijay Salaskar had been attempting to implicate Pradeep Sharma in allegedly bogus cases.

Dhanaraj Singh alias Bachhi Singh, an accused in cases of kidnapping, extortion and land grabbing in the city, moved the high court, saying that he was tortured by officials from Kurla Crime Branch, who were investigating cases pending against him, for a statement implicating encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma, resulting in permanent damage to his his legs.

Singh has further alleged that he was subjected to all sorts of mental and physical harassment by Vijay Salaskar, one Phadake from Kurla crime branch and Ashok Khedkar. The policemen did not stop there and went on to harass his relatives and friends when he refused to give any statement implicating Pradeep Sharma as co-accused and co-conspirators in cases in which he was implicated, Singh said.

He has sought investigation into his allegations by some independent agency like Central Bureau of Investigation, saying that he has nothing to do personally with any of the rival groups and he was unnecessarily dregged in personal rivalry between police officials and was unnecessarily being harassed. He has also apprehended fear to his life and lives of his family members.

But, before going into his allegations, a division bench comprising Justice Bilal Nazfi and S B Mhase today asked Bachhi Singh's counsel to first implead Salaskar, Khedkar and Phadke as party respondents, so that they would be there to respond to the serious allegations made in the petition.

The matter will now come up for further hearing after a week.

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