Encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma to debut in Maharashtra assembly polls
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- Clearing the decks for a tough fight during the Maharashtra assembly polls, the state home department has approved the resignation of police inspector and "encounter specialist" Pradeep Sharma on Monday.
- Sharma is likely to be pitched by the Shiv Sena against the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi's MLA Kshitij Thakur from the Nalasopara constituency in Palghar. He is also said to be eyeing the Andheri East seat.
- Earlier this year, Sharma, who was a senior police inspector in the Thane police commissionerate's anti-extortion cell, had sought voluntary resignation from the force.
- In 2010, Sharma was arrested in the Lakhan Bhaiyya fake encounter case but was later acquitted and reinstated in the police force 2017.
- Hailing from Dhule in north Maharashtra, Sharma had also filed his nomination in 2014 as a Republican Party of India (RPI- Athavale) nominee from the Andheri East assembly constituency but withdrew from the fray after the Bharatiya Janata Party refused to set aside the seat for the party.