190724 Salman Khan
Salman Khan Image Credit: PTI

Indian police arrested a sharpshooter on August 15 who had reportedly carried out recce of Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s house in Mumbai and was part of a murder plot in January this year.

According to local media reports, the shooter is affiliated with Lawrence Bishnoi, gangster in India who is currently lodged in a prison in Rajasthan.

The accused was arrested by Faridabad Police in the Indian state of Haryana.

Police told Indian media, the accused, 27-year-old Rahul alias Sanga alias Baba alias Sunni, hails from Bhiwani and was arrested from Uttarakhand on Saturday. He is accused of murdering Praveen, a Faridabad resident who ran a ration depot, on June 24.

“During questioning, it has emerged that Rahul had travelled to Mumbai in January to conduct a recce for the murder of Salman Khan. He went to the actor’s house in Bandra for the purpose and stayed in the area for two days,” a police official was quoted as saying.

“He conducted this recce at the behest of Bishnoi and Sampat Nehra, another member of the gang, who had also conducted a recce to plan for the same crime before he was arrested in June 2018,” he added.

Nehra had been arrested from Hyderabad for allegedly plotting Khan’s murder, also at the behest of Bishnoi.

Lawrence Bishnoi is a member of the Bishnoi community, a Hindu religious sect found in the Western Thar Desert and northern states of India, which reveres black bucks.

According to police, the fact that Khan had killed two black bucks in 1998 in Jodhpur led to Bishnoi targeting him.

“Rahul conducted the recce on the directions of Bishnoi and later apprised him of the findings. However, they were unable to take their plan to the next stage because of the coronavirus outbreak,” the police official told Indian media.

Unlike Nehra, who police say was Bishnoi’s “right hand man”, Rahul was a relatively newer member of the gang.