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Sena (UBT) leader’s murder: Killer held grudge, used bodyguard’s pistol to commit crime

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Mumbai, Feb 9 (PTI) A bodyguard of Mauris Noronha, who 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.

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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 started questioning Mishra in this connection, he said.

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

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Noronha, who faced many cases, was earlier arrested in a rape case 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.

After coming out of jail, Noronha would frequently say that he wouldn't "spare" Ghosalkar.

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The official said, Noronha first decided to win Ghosalkar’s trust by offering an olive branch to him. He began putting up Ghoslkar’s banners in his area.

Around 7.30 pm on Thursday, Ghosalkar was in his office at IC Colony, which is less than 100 metres from Noronha’s set-up on the ground floor of the 'Prabhu Udyog Bhavan' building.

Noronha called Ghosalkar, asking 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 has banners with messages like ‘‘Corona Yoddha’ and ‘Vote for Mauris bhai’.

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Noronha then suggested to Ghosalkar that they do a Facebook Live to announce their decision to bury the hatchet and work for the people.

During the FB Live, Noronha pumped bullets into Ghosalkar from his bodyguard’s pistol, which he perhaps had kept with himself. He then rushed to the mezzanine floor of his office and shot himself in the head, the official said.

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 amid the presence of a large number of people near the offices of Noronha and Ghosalkar. Shops in the vicinity also remained shut, he said, adding that the situation was calm there. PTI DC NR

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