Abhishek Ghosalkar
People gather to pay last respects to Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Abhishek Ghosalkar, who was allegedly shot by unidentified people during a Facebook live episode, in Mumbai on Friday, Feb 9, 2024. Image Credit: ANI

Mumbai: Amid Opposition fury over the killing of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Abhishek Ghosalkar in public view 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 while on Facebook live. 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 ANI, DCP (Crime Branch) Raj Tilak Roushan said, “There was an incident of firing in the jurisdiction of MHB police station in which two people 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 body of the Sena (UBT) leader was taken to the state-run JJ Hospital for 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.