The court of sessions at Mumbai in 2013 sentenced 21 people i.e 13 policemen and 8 others to life imprisonment for the murder of Ramnarayan Gupta, alias Lakhan Bhaiya. The said order of the court is with connection to a fake encounter of Lakhan Bhaiya in the year 2006. Ramnarayan Gupta or conventionally known as Lakhan Bhaiya was believed to be aide of Chota Rajan was arrested from Navi Mumbai with his associate Anil Bheda and on November, 2006 on the same day Lakhan Bhaiya was encountered near Nana-Nani park at Versova.
In the said encounter, Pradeep Sooryavanshi, Pradeep Sharma, Tanaji Desai and Dilip Palande played crutial role. In 2016 the presiding judge V. D. Jadhvar sentenced all accused to life imprisonment, including murder, kidnapping and destruction of evidence. The court found 21 people guilty, with the exception of former meeting-place expert Pradeep Sharma, who was accused of shooting more than 100 criminals. Before the trial began, the judge said Sharma would be acquitted of all charges and released immediately because he was not wanted in any other case.
The Mumbai High Court ordered a judicial investigation into the death in 2008 after Shri Ramaprasad Gupta contacted different authorities in the case. A report to the High Court in August 2009 stated that Lakhan Bhaiya was killed by cold water. Blank range. Following the report, the court ordered a judicial investigation and formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the allegations.
While the investigation was ongoing, Navi Mumbai police found a decomposed body during March, 2011, it was Anil Bheda, a key witness the encounter. The other convicted policemen for abetment include Ratnakar Kamble, Shailendra Pandey, Hitesh Solanki, Vinayak Shinde, Manoj Raj, Sunil Solanki, Nitin Sartape, Mohamed Shailk, Devidas Sakpal, Janardan Bhange, Prakash Kadam, Ganesh Harpude, Anand Patade, Pandurang Kokam, Sandip Sarkar, Suresh Shetty, and Arvind Sarvankar. The convicted policemen applied for bail after the session courts order in 2013 citing the necessity of their presence as male member of their families, later on, the application was denied.
The prosecution prayed for death penalty to the convicts. However, the court denied the prayer and imposed life imprisonment for the convicts. On the acquittal of Pradeep Sharma, a prime suspect, Ramprasad Gupta, who is Lakhan Bhaiya, alias Ramnarayan Gupta’s brother said “We will contact the Supreme Court against the acquittal of Mr. Sharma and demand the death penalty for the police.”
Most essential key to this puzzle was the testimony of the witness Anil Bheda which couldn’t be recorded due to his murder and twisted the case further. With Bheda out of the picture and suspicious acquittal of important suspect, Pradeep Sharma, its difficult for the court to analyze the truth. There is no doubt as to Ramnarayan Gupta, alias Lakhan Bhaiya’s encounter was under suspicious circumstances and the facts before us are suspicious death of his associate who was a prime witness and acquittal of Prime suspect Pradeep Sharma who is known for his encounters which is more than a hundered.