MUMBAI: Ravindranath Angre, a former ‘encounter’ specialist with the city police who joined the BJP, has transformed himself from a trigger-happy policeman to a ‘social activist’ who believes in Swami Vivekananda’s ideologies. Angre, who has 52 ‘encounters’ to his credit, became a BJP member on Sunday in the presence of state president Raosaheb Danve in Thane near here.
Earlier, Angre used to carry his favourite revolver round the clock. Now, he works at an NGO, Samarth Bharat, which works towards preserving the environment and water literacy. His association with the NGO began in 2008 when he was suspended from the police force.
That was also the time when he realised that Vivekananda’s thoughts made a deeper impression on him more than his gun-toting image. The state government had suspended him in 2008 following his arrest over alleged involvement in an extortion case. However, the trial court acquitted him of the charges. He was reinstated in the force in 2012 and was appointed in Naxal-hit Gadchiroli district.
Once an encounter man, Angre spent most of the time in a small room of the district police Headquarters completing paper work. Angre, 58, took voluntary retirement from the police force six months ago and expressed his readiness to contest the Assembly elections in October on a BJP ticket. However, the party did not consider his request at that time. He has claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership qualities encouraged him to join the BJP. Known as one of the most fearsome police officers in the city, Angre was credited for bumping off notorious Suresh Manchekar gang in Thane.