Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Abhishek Ghosalkar was shot thrice on February 8 evening when he was speaking live on Facebook (Meta) about his political work. The assailant later shot himself dead.
The incident took place at IC Colony, Borivali, in the suburbs of Mumbai, said the police, who identified the assailant as Morris Noronho. Ghosalkar was rushed to the nearby Karuna Hospital in north Mumbai but was declared dead on arrival.
Noronho was also seen in the Facebook live video, asking Abhishek to speak to the online audience in the live feed. As soon as the session was over and Abhishek got up to step outside the room, Noronho opened fire at him, when the live streaming was still continuing. After that, he went on the rooftop of the office, loaded the pistol with bullets, and shot himself in the head, informed the police present at the crime site.
Son of former Uddhav Sena MLA Vinod Ghosalkar, Abhishek is a former corporator whereas his father, Vinod was an MLA (2009-2014) from Dahisar region.
The police said that a case has also been registered against deceased Noronho under section 302 of the IPC, Sections 3 and 25 of the Arms Act, Section 37 (1) (A), and Section 135 of the Maharashtra Police Act.
Initially five rounds were fired from the 15-cartridge capacity pistol out of which four bullets hit Ghosalkar, said a police official. It is believed that Noronho used his private bodyguard Mishra’s licensed pistol.
On Friday, the investigation was transferred to the Mumbai Crime Branch.
“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,” Raj Tilak Roushan, DCP (Crime Branch), told ANI.
It is said that the Facebook Live was arranged to clear the air about their rivalry and inform their followers that they have come together now.
Speaking to press, Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA and former minister Aaditya Thackeray said, “There is a government of goons in the state. There is no law and order in the state. First the firing took place in Kalyan and now it is taking place in Mumbai.”
Meanwhile, the mortal remains of Ghosalkar was brought to his residence in Borivali at 10.30 am after completing the post mortem at J.J. Hospital.
Church refuses burial of assailant
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church on Friday refused to accept Noronho’s body.
Church officials said they do not want to bury his body inside the church premises considering his crime record in the past and also the sentiments of people of IC Colony who were quite fond of Ghosalkar for his philanthropic work in the neighbourhood from a very young age.
However, the police officials are trying to convince the church to accept his body for burial.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)