Oct 31, 2007

Encounter Specialist: Vijay Salaskar

Vijay Salaskar (age 50) was killed in Mumbai terrorist attacks on November 27th at Metro Cinema. More Here


Only terrorist arrested has confessed to killing Mr. Salaskar. How did the final events unfold?

With Tuesday’s encounter, the number of criminals shot dead by inspector Vijay Salaskar touched 78. Salaskar, who was reportedly sidelined for the last two years for unearthing the gutka-underworld nexus, was recently attached to the crime branch, where he currently heads the anti-extortion cell. An officer of the 1983 batch, Salaskar in his 24 years of service has eliminated many criminals. Amar Naik, Jaggu Shetty, Sadhu Shetty, Kundan Singh Rawat, Zahoor Makhanda are some of the gangsters who have fallen to Salaskar’s bullets. According to sources, the police officer had once even gone hunting for former don Arun Gawli. “But Gawli fled from the scene, forcing Salaskar to return empty-handed. However, Salaskar got even by killing his two trusted men, Sada Pawle and Vijay Tandel, in 1997, triggering allegations that the encounters were fake. After this, Gawli was so scared that during the 2005 elections, he complained to the government that Salaskar was trying to kill him and requested that he be transferred,’’ sources said.

This is what Salaskar said in 2004 about Mr, Gawli.

Gawli may have become an MLA. But for me, he continues to remain a former Mumbai don and I have to keep tabs on his activities. If I get any information of his group's involvement in a crime or learn about any shady activity going on at Dagdi Chawl, I will not hesitate to raid his Byculla residence. If I have to arrest him, I will not refrain from doing so. Now that Gawli is an MLA, arresting him will involve certain procedures. I will not bow to any political pressure. I will only take orders from the police commissioner, who is my supreme commander.

It was embarrassing that khaki-clad policemen would be deployed to protect Gawli. In the past, we refused him police protection on several occasions. At that time, I had gunned down several of his top henchmen and so he was scared of me. But if Gawli is really reformed, he should not be afraid of me or any other policeman. We do not target innocent persons.