Open main menu

Detection Unit consisted of several high-profile officers of Mumbai Police.[1] The squad primarily dealt with members of the Mumbai underworld and other criminal gangs.


Gang wars in MumbaiEdit

The Unit came to be known as the "Encounter Squad" because of its involvement in the encounter killings. It came into prominence in the 1980s and 1990s, when they started dealing with Dawood Ibrahim's D-Company gang, the Arun Gawali gang and the Amar Naik gang.

The 'encounter’, was a euphemism for a situation in which a gangster was cornered, asked to surrender, ostensibly attacked the police or tried to escape, and was shot dead in retaliatory action. As the encounters increased, so did the popularity of the "encounter specialist." Daya Nayak, Valentine Fernandes, Pradeep Sharma, Ravindranath Angre, Praful Bhosale, Raju Pillai, Vijay Salaskar, Shivaji Kolekar, Sachin Waze and Sanjay Kadam became cult figures, mythologised by the media.[2]

The first encounter occurred on 11 January 1982 when gangster Manya Surve was shot dead by police officers Raja Tambat and Isaque Bagwan at the Wadala area.[3] The famous killing of Maya Dolas in the 1991 Lokhandwala Complex shootout bought focus on this unit for first time. More than 400[4] criminals from different gangs were killed by this squad.

Since the cracking of the 1993 Mumbai Bomb blasts case, the squad played an instrumental role in controlling the Dawood Ibrahim, Chota Rajan, Ashwin Naik, Ravi Pujari, Ejaz Lakdawala, Ali Budesh, and Arun Gawli gangs in Mumbai.[5][6][7]

The squad was dissolved after rival dons Dawood and Chota Rajan fled India, but revived after the 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings.[8]

The end of the squad came with the departure of Waze and Nayak from service, and death of Vijay Salaskar,[9] killed in a gun battle at Rangbhavan Lane during Mumbai 26/11 Terrorist attack.

Portrayals in popular cultureEdit


  1. ^ Mumbai's infamous police 'encounter squad' dream of comeback - The Guardian, Sunday 6 March 2011
  2. ^ Final Encounter
  3. ^ City’s first encounter ended two years of urban dacoity - 22 June 2002, Express India
  4. ^ "India can't keep a good don under". Asian times. 23 June 2007. Retrieved 23 June 2007.
  5. ^ ALEX PERRY (6 January 2003). "Urban Cowboys". TIME CNN. Retrieved on 9 June 2007
  6. ^ Zubair Ahmed (9 June 2004). "Bombay's crack Encounter Police". BBC NEWS. Retrieved on 9 June 2007
  7. ^ Indian Express (11 December 2001). "Where Gangsters blinked first". Retrieved on 9 June 2007
  8. ^ "Mumbai’s ‘Dirty Harrys’ are back in action" Archived 2012-07-11 at
  9. ^ "Rajan Gangster dead". times of India. 31 October 2007. Retrieved on 31 October 2007
  10. ^ "BIG B TO STAR IN RGV'S COP FILM - HINDUSTAN TIMES" Archived 2011-10-02 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit