Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Amid the Opposition fury over the killing of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Abhishek Ghosalkar in full public glare in Mumbai's Dahisar, the Crime Branch on Friday claimed a rivalry between the victim and his assailant.
Ghosalkar was shot dead by a lone assailant, whom the police identified as Mauris Noronha, in the Dahisar area. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Later, the assailant, Noronha, too, shot himself dead, according to the police.
Speaking to media, DCP (Crime Branch) Raj Tilak Roushan said, "There was an incident of firing in the jurisdiction of MHB police station in which two persons died.
Further investigation by the Crime Branch is underway. We are also in the process of registering an FIR in the matter. We will also probe if the assailant had a valid licence for the firearm (used for the crime). The matter is being probed from all angles."
"The officers from the Crime Branch are carrying out the probe. Prima facie, it seems there was some kind of a rivalry between these two and the killing may have been a fallout of the same," the DCP (Crime Branch) added.
Mumbai Police informed earlier that the Dahisar firing case had been handed over to the Crime Branch.
"We received information about firing and immediately reached the spot. Both the injured persons (the victim and the assailant) were rushed to a hospital. However, both succumbed to their injuries.
A detailed investigation is underway into the incident. (Forensic) Samples are being collected and the matter is being investigated from all angles. An FIR is being registered and the case has been handed over to the Crime Branch," DCP Datta Nalawade told reporters earlier.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Police said it had not issued any licenced firearm to the assailant, Noronha.
The mortal remains of the deceased Sena (UBT) leader were taken to the state-run JJ Hospital for a post-mortem.
The city police stated further that two separate cases were being registered in the Dahisar firing incident. "One FIR is being filed for the murder of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Abhishek Ghosalkar and another ADR (Accidental Death Report) for the death by suicide of Mauris Noronha," Mumbai Police said in a statement.
The incident evoked fury from several Opposition leaders in the state, with Sena (UBT) leader and MP Sanjay Raut demanding the resignation of CM Shinde and his deputy Devendra Fadnavis.
Tearing into the Eknath Shinde-led NDA government in the state after Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Abhishek Ghosalkar was shot dead in Mumbai on Thursday, former minister and party leader Aaditya Thackeray said such lawlessness never prevailed under previous regimes.
Claiming a total breakdown of law and order under the current dispensation, Aaditya Thackeray took to his official X handle to post, "Maharashtra has seen lawlessness like never before. It is shocking beyond words to see the law-and-order situation fail as it has today. Does the system exist at all to protect the common man? Does fear of the law exist? Administration has fully crumbled to being absent."
On X handle, Raut posted, "There is a reign of goons in Maharashtra! Mauris Noronha, who shot Abhishek Ghosalkar four days ago, was at the (CM's) bungalow. The chief minister met him."
"Mauris was invited to join the Shinde Sena. (Devendra) Fadnavis has proved to be a complete failure as Home Minister. He must resign," Raut claimed in his post.
Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole said the incident marks the beginning of 'Jungle Raj' in the state.
Significantly, this was the second such incident this month.
In a similar incident earlier, BJP MLA Ganpat Gaikwad allegedly opened fire at Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde) faction leader Mahesh Gaikwad at Hill Line Police Station in Ulhasnagar, triggering sharp reactions from Opposition leaders.