Mumbai | Mauris Noronha, who shot dead Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Abhishek Ghosalkar during Facebook Live, suspected that Ghosalkar had implicated him in a rape case, police said on Friday as they arrested the accused's bodyguard under the Arms Act.
Noronha (48) used his bodyguard Amarendra Mishra's licensed pistol for shooting Ghosalkar on Thursday evening and later killing himself, police said.
Mishra was arrested on Friday under section 29 (B) of the Arms Act which deals with the offence of handing over a weapon to someone without ascertaining if the person is legally permitted to possess it, an official said.
According to Mishra's wife, while hiring him Noronha was keen that he left his pistol in the office after duty hours.
Police recorded statements of Noronha’s family members including his wife and learnt that he nursed a grudge against Abhishek, the son of former MLA Vinod Ghosalkar, a loyalist of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena.
Noronha, who faced criminal cases, was earlier arrested in a rape case and spent nearly five months behind bars.
There was a tussle between Abhishek Ghosalkar (40), who was a former corporator, and Noronha, who had political aspirations of his own, said a police official.
Noronha suspected that the Sena leader implicated him in the rape case, and after coming out of jail he would frequently say that he would not "spare" Ghosalkar, the official said, adding that he first decided to win Ghosalkar’s trust by offering an olive branch to him. He also began putting up Ghoslkar’s banners in his area.
Around 7.30 pm on Thursday, Abhishek Ghosalkar was in his own office in IC Colony area of suburban Borivali, less than 100 metres from Noronha’s office on the ground floor of 'Prabhu Udyog Bhavan' building, when he got a call from Noronha.
Noronha asked him to come over to his office, saying he had organised saree distribution for women in the area, the official said.
Noronha then suggested to Ghosalkar that they do a Facebook Live to announce their decision to bury the hatchet and work together. During the FB Live, Noronha pumped bullets into Ghosalkar using his bodyguard Mishra's pistol. He then rushed to the mezzanine floor of his office and shot himself in the head, the police official said.
Mishra was arrested by the crime branch after interrogation at its Dahisar Unit.
His wife Soni Mishra claimed while speaking to PTI that he was innocent.
"My husband had no idea of whatever was going through Mauris' mind, " she said.
Norhona had first offered job to Mishra on December 18 last year. He allegedly told Mishra that he would have to keep his pistol in the office locker but the latter refused to accept this condition, Soni Mishra told PTI.
But as he needed a job, Mishra approached Noronha on December 28 and started working for him as a bodyguard, she said.
Mishra left for Uttar Pradesh in the first week of January due to a death in the family, and resumed working for Noronha from January 24.
Noronha again insisted that Mishra keep the pistol in the office locker, his wife said, adding that initially her husband kept the locker's key with himself.
On Thursday, he went to the office and kept the weapon in the locker. Around 4 pm, Noronha asked him to go with his friend Mehul Parekh, who was visiting his mother in the hospital, she said.
Police called him around 3 on Friday morning and detained him, she added.