Will Encounter Specialist Pradeep Sharma enter politics?

After Encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma submitted his resignation from the police force, it fuelled speculations about Sharma entering active politics

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Senior Police Inspector Pradeep Sharma, who is an encounter specialist for Mumbai Police, on June 19 submitted his resignation. The speculations suggest that Sharma, who has more than 100 encounters to his name, may join politics ahead of the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections. 

If the speculations are to be believed, the encounter specialist might contest the upcoming assembly polls from a Shiv Sena ticket. However, several media reports suggest that Sharma might contest from a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket from Sakinaka assembly constituency in Mumbai. However, no official announcement regarding this has been made. Moreover, the Maharashtra police have also not accepted Sharma’s resignation. Therefore, Sharma is still a servicing police officer. 

Pradeep Sharma’s career has been a roller coaster ride. Earlier in 2008, he was suspended along with 13 other police officers in connection with the alleged fake encounter of gangster Lakhan Bhaiya. Later in 2013, Sharma was inducted back in service after his acquittal in the fake encounter case. For him, the idea of entering active politics did not come all of a sudden. The senior officer has always tried to indulge with the masses at public events and festivals. Earlier, during Rakshabandhan last year, nearly 12,000 women tied him ‘Rakhi’ (sacred thread) 

Moreover, during his suspension from the police force and after his trial, the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government in Maharashtra was unwilling to induct Sharma into the force. However, the government had to take him back after he threatened to join politics. 

Apart from interacting with the public, Sharma has also indulged in various kind of social work. He founded PS Foundation with an aim to do social work for the people living in and around Andheri. 


Relation between police and politics is not a new tale

Pradeep Sharma will not be the first officer from the police force to join the political corridor. Prior to this, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik and Satyapal Singh entered politics after their service concluded. 

Patnaik started his political career from his home state Orissa and joined Biju Janata Dal (BJD). He also contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election but was defeated with 23,839 votes by BJP candidate Aparajita Sarangi.   

On the other hand, Satyapal Singh was elected as an MP in the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat constituency. After being re-elected in 2019 LS polls, Singh was appointed as Minister of State (MoS) in the Narendra Modi government.  

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