Mumbai was the hub of extortionists and world famous gangsters. With the mission to eliminate mafia activities, the Mumbai Encounter Squad was formed. Due to the numerous shootouts, this encounter squad got the tag of ‘Death Squad’. The actions of encounter specialists gave sleepless nights to the gangsters, who once terrorised the Mumbai City. Here’s goes the list of some famous encounter specialists of India. Read on to know more about them.
Pradeep Sharma (Encountered: 113)
Victims gunned down: 113
Pradeep Sharma plays the role of an encounter specialist in his real life and he once said that he was addicted to the encounter killings of the mafia people. From Agra to the Maharashtra, his journey has been full of drama and suspense. He joined the State Police Service in 1983 as a sub inspector and became a Senior Inspector in the Mumbai Crime Police.
During his 25 years in service, Pradeep Sharma became a terror for the underworld mafia as he went on to encounter the death of 113 criminals. Among the 113, were the most dreaded and feared crime bosses and terrorists who ruled the Mumbai city. His statement to media “The gangs in Mumbai are now on the run. Encounters are an addiction for me. I feel bored on Sundays” shows his fearlessness and the will to eliminate terrorists.
Daya Nayak (Encountered: 83)
Victims gunned down: 83
Bollywood and the South Indian movie industry seemed to be really inspired by Daya Nayak’s life as there have been several movies about his life so far and some are in the making.
Daya Shankar gained his part of fame for eliminating the gangsters from the Mumbai Underworld. His number of encounter killing of gangsters went up to 80 while he was a member of the Mumbai Encounter Squad. Daya was responsible for clean sweeping the eighty members of the terror gang in Mumbai. Many famous movies like ‘Ab Tak Chappan’, ‘Encounter Daya Nayak’ and ‘Kagaar’ are all based on his life story.
Praful Bhonsale (Encountered: 90)
Victims gunned down: 90
Praful Bhonsale was a member of the so called ‘Death Squad’ along with Vijay Salaskar. Praful and Salaskar were responsible for a devastative damage to the Mumbai underworld. After the disbanding of the death squad, Prafull went on to hunt the criminals and reached a toll of 90 men.
Bhonsale has incredible investigative skills and has been awarded with the Deepak Jog ‘Best detection officer’ award for 2000-01. He holds a reputation for tracing and gunning down culprits with precise timing and accuracy. One of his important encounter victims was Arif Kalia, whom he gunned down at Ghatkopar in 2002. Arif Kalia was a hitman working for Chhota Shakeel gang.
Vijay Salaskar (Encountered: 83)
Victims gunned down: 83
Vijay Salaskar’s list of encounter killing is no less than a ‘masala’ Bollywood movie. He was a batch mate of Pradeep Sharma in 1983 and later joined him in the league of encounter specialists. Vijay Salaskar was considered a highly professional encounter specialist and he kept eye on every move of his victim before striking them. He was known for his accurate and precise hunting of terrorists.
Amar Naik and Sada Pawle were both gunned down by Salaskar in a famous encounter in the mid-nineties. His next target was Arun Gawli, but Arun joined politics to save his life from Salaskar.
Sachin Hindurao Vaze (Encountered: 63)
Victims gunned down: 63
Another important asset of the ‘Encounter Specialist’ team of Mumbai crime branch was Sachin Hindurao Vaze, Assistant Police Inspector. He was famous for his unique identity in the department. He was responsible for bringing down 63 wanted criminals of the Mumbai terror world.
During the high rising tension in the region of Mumbai, Vaze’s list of 63 included the names of notorious criminals like Munna Nepali, Krishna Shetty, Lashker-e-toiba terrorists who were involved in the Goregaon blasts. Vaze was one of the most famous officers of the Mumbai Encounter Squad.
Ravindra Angre (Encountered: 51)
Victims gunned down: 51
While his batchmates were busy cleaning the mess in the Mumbai region, Inspector Ravindra Angre cleaned some underworld men in the Thane region. He built a network of informants and cracked the whip on the organised crime in Thane.
The number of his encounter killings was 51 and his reputation as a specialist encounter killer made Suresh Manchekar(an extortionist) to disband his gang and flee the Thane area. But Angre followed him and gunned him down in an encounter at Kolhapur. It is said that when he reached 50 encounter killings, he hosted a party for his colleagues and some friends in the media to celebrate the half century of his encounters.