The Thane Police anti-extortion cell led by former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma yesterday arrested Iqbal Kaskar, the younger brother of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in an extortion case. Kaskar was taken for questioning on Monday evening from his Mumbai residence along with two others and was arrested later. Former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma who just took charge of the Thane AEC earlier this month led Kaskar’s arrest.
According to sources, Kaskar was arrested on a complaint filed by a builder. The builder has alleged that Kaskar had already taken four flats from him and has been demanding more flats. Acting on the complaint, a team headed by Sharma raided Gordon Hall apartment in Nagpada in South Mumbai. According to reports, Kaskar was under police scrutiny for some time after his name surfaced in the investigation of an extortion case filed by the builder.
Police said that Kaskar had been threatening builders on behalf of Dawood Ibrahim and was demanding huge extortion money as a cut for his brother. Many of these builders who are from Thane, Ulhasnagar, Dombivli had allegedly paid huge sums of extortion money to Kaskar. In fact, one builder who had suffered significant losses during the demonetization and was under debt had filed the complaint against Kaskar.
Sharma has 113 encounters to his credit and was previously posted with the Mumbai Police. Sharma was unceremoniously ousted from the police force as he was allegedly in touch with the underworld, and after his name cropped up in the 2006 Lakhan Bhaiyya fake encounter case. Later, in 2010, Sharma was arrested for his involvement in the case but was acquitted of all charges by a Mumbai court in July 2013. Since then, he has wanted to be reinstated.
Sharma who has inspired Bollywood movies like ‘Ab Tak Chhappan’ challenged his dismissal before the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) which ruled in his favour in 2009. Meanwhile, in 2013, the trial court acquitted him for want of evidence.