Less than 36 hours after two men were injured after they were shot at by some unidentified assailants outside a bar in Nallasopara, the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police apprehended a duo including a local political leader for their involvement in the crime. As per prima-facie findings, the shootout was ordered to avenge a four-year-old murder case of the politician’s younger brother. However, the actual shooters are still at large.
According to the police, the shoot-out was reported outside Q-n-Q Bar located in the Moregaon area of Nallasopara (east) in Palghar district at around 9:15 pm on Sunday. Baliram Deepchand Gupta who runs a mobile shop and his friend- Rajkumar Gupta were indulged in a binge session on a handcart outside the bar when some unidentified men arrived on a bike motorcycle and opened fire on the duo. While Baliram who sustained minor injuries managed to flee the spot, four rounds were fired at Rajkumar out of which three hit him on the back and one bullet went blank, police said.
Sensing the seriousness of the case the Crime Branch (Unit III) had been assigned to conduct investigations. On the virtue of technical surveillance and running a background check of the victims, the police came across the criminal antecedents of the injured victims. Further investigations led to the arrest of one of the assailants identified as Salman Shaikh (21) from Navi Mumbai. After rounds of sustained interrogations, he confessed of being given a supari (contract) by Chandrashekhar Gupta (34) to eliminate Rajkumar Gupta to avenge his brother's killing.
Gupta suspected Rajkumar’s involvement in his brother’s murder. Salman had mounted multiple attacks on Rajkumar with a sharp edged weapon after his accomplices had shot at him. Rajkumar who suffered serious head and other injuries is recuperating at a private hospital. While Salman is a resident of Chembur, Chandrashekhar Gupta lives in Tulinj. A manhunt has been launched to apprehend the absconding shooters, police said.