Mumbai Crime Branch to probe murder of Sena leader during Facebook Live

Shiv Sena (UBT-Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Vinod Ghosalkar's son Abhishek Ghosalkar with his assailant in the Facebook Live. Photo: Screengrab/X/@srinivasiyc.

Mumbai: The investigation into the sensational murder of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Abhishek Ghosalkar during a Facebook Live by a local social activist, who also killed himself, has been transferred to the Mumbai Crime Branch, an official said on Friday.

Abhishek (40), son of former MLA Vinod Ghosalkar, a loyalist of the Uddhav Thackeray-led party, was also a former corporator.

A viral video of the incident, which took place at assailant Mauris Noronha's office in IC Colony in the northern suburb of Borivali (West) on Thursday evening, showed Ghosalkar being shot in the abdomen and shoulder.

The Crime Branch probe will focus on several aspects, including how Noronha got the weapon; who provided it to him; whether he was under the influence of alcohol at the time and the questioning of people who were present at the spot when Ghosalkar was fired upon, an officer said.

Ghosalkar was hit by four bullets. Noronha, who used an illegal pistol for the crime, then shot himself to death.

Ghosalkar and Noronha had personal enmity but the Facebook Live was arranged to clarify that they had come together, ending their bitterness for the betterment of the IC Colony area, another police official said.

The MHB Colony police registered a case after the murder, while Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Satya Narayan and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Datta Nalawade visited the spot for the probe.

Late in the night, the case was transferred to the Mumbai Crime Branch for further investigation, a senior police official said. A team from the Crime Branch also visited the crime scene along with the local police, the official said. Later, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Lakhmi Gautam and DCP (Crime) Raj Tilak Roshan also reached the spot in connection with the investigation.

Hundreds of Sena (UBT) supporters gathered outside Karuna Hospital in north Mumbai, where Ghosalkar was rushed to after he was fired upon, and its vicinity. Accordingly, heavy police deployment has been kept in the area to avoid any untoward incident, the official said. 

In the early hours of Friday, Ghosalkar's body was shifted to a state-run hospital for post-mortem, he said. 

The incident took place days after a BJP MLA was caught on camera firing at an Eknath Shinde faction leader inside a police station at Ulhasnagar.

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