Abhishek Ghosalkar murder: Killer used bodyguard’s pistol, says police

The police have learned that Noronha nursed a grudge against ex-corporator Ghosalkar

(From left) Abhishek Ghosalkar with Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray and Vinod Ghosalkar (photo: @a_vghosalkar/X)
(From left) Abhishek Ghosalkar with Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray and Vinod Ghosalkar (photo: @a_vghosalkar/X)
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PTI

A bodyguard of Mauris Noronha, who shot and killed Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Abhishek Ghosalkar during a Facebook live before taking his own life, has been detained by the Mumbai Crime Branch and is being questioned, an official said on Friday.

The pistol used by Noronha belongs to his bodyguard Amarendra Mishra. The weapon was made at an ordnance factory and its licence is in Mishra’s name, he said. Crime Branch officials have begun questioning Mishra in this connection, he said.

The police have recorded statements from Noronha’s family members, including his wife, and learned that he nursed a grudge against ex-corporator Ghosalkar, son of former MLA Vinod Ghosalkar and a loyalist of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT).

Noronha, who has several cases against him, was earlier arrested on charges of rape and spent nearly five months behind bars. While there was a tussle between Ghosalkar (40) and Noronha, who had political aspirations, the latter suspected the former had implicated him in the rape case, his wife has told the police. Once out of jail, Noronha would reportedly often say that he wouldn't "spare" Ghosalkar.

The official said Noronha first decided to win Ghosalkar’s trust by offering him an olive branch, and began putting up Ghoslkar’s banners in his neighbourhood in the Borivali (West)-Dahisar area. At around 7.30 pm on Thursday, Ghosalkar was in his office at IC Colony, which is less than 100 m from Noronha’s set-up on the ground floor of Prabhu Udyog Bhavan, when got a call from Noronha.

Noronha asked him to come over to his office on the other side of the road, saying they would distribute sarees to women there. Noronha’s office is decorated with banners bearing messages like 'Corona Yoddha' and 'Vote for Mauris bhai'.

Noronha then suggested to Ghosalkar that they do a Facebook live to announce their decision to bury the hatchet and work for the people. As the live was in progress, an off-camera Noronha allegedly pumped bullets into Ghosalkar from his bodyguard’s pistol, which he had probably kept with himself. He then rushed to the mezzanine floor of his office and shot himself in the head, the official said.


In the live video on FB, Ghosalkar is seen being shot in the abdomen and shoulder as the sound of four shots are heard, after which he rushes out of the frame. Yells are then heard in the background as two vacant chairs remain in the frame.

A case was registered based on a complaint filed by a friend of Ghosalkar, who used to accompany him everywhere. His statement was also recorded in this connection, the official said.

The police on Friday maintained a tight vigil in the area amidst the presence of a large number of people near the offices of Noronha and Ghosalkar. Shops in the vicinity also remained shut, the official said, adding that the situation was calm.

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