The Telegraph
Thursday , November 11 , 2010
Since 1st March, 1999
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Flying like a phoenix

Patna, Nov. 10: He is a daredevil cop with a few taints.

Shashi Bhushan Sharma, deputy superintendent of police (traffic), Patna, who was shot at near his residence at Chhajubagh on Tuesday night, has had a chequered career in the force. The highs and lows in his career could almost compete with the narrative of a Bollywood film.

On one hand, he was lauded and promoted for the encounter of dreaded criminal Ashok Samrat. On the other, he was suspended in connection with the Bhagalpur blinding case.

Sharma, a 1975-batch sub-inspector, was promoted out of turn and made deputy superintendent of police after he eliminated Samrat, dreaded criminal of north Bihar, in an encounter half-a-decade ago. Sharma was posted at Vaishali then.

A source said Samrat had unleashed a reign of terror in Muzaffarpur, Begusarai, Samastipur, Vaishali and parts of Patna. He was also the first criminal to use an AK-47 assault rifle in the state (he used it to murder Chandeshwar Singh, a don in north Bihar). Sharma was awarded the President’s medal for gallantry for eliminating Samrat.

The DSP was suspended for nine years in relation to the Bhagalpur blinding case of 1979-80. Sharma was a station house officer then.

Bhagalpur prison officials had poured acid in the eyes of about 35 inmates, in what is now known as Operation Gangajaal. K.S. Dwivedi, who is now inspector-general (operations), was the superintendent of police of Bhagalpur then.

Sharma was given a clean chit in the case later.

A colleague of Sharma said: “He was a daredevil officer whose name spelt terror for criminals.” He often travelled without bodyguards, as he was doing on the fateful night, while returning home from poll duty.

Sharma has been in-charge of Patna police’s special task force. He was known as Daya Nayak (as encounter specialists are referred to). His team was credited with solving the kidnapping cases of noted neurological surgeon Ramesh Chandra, physician Bharat Singh, businessman Sanjay Dayal. He was also the investigating officer of the murder of minister Brij Bihari Prasad.

A source said he used to be the blue-eyed officer of the political powers that be and enjoyed coveted posting in Patna and its adjoining districts during the regime of Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi. Though Sharma did not enjoy the same clout in the Nitish Kumar regime, he remained posted in Patna, mostly.

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