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Accused conducted recce around Salman Khan's house three times before firing

A senior Gujarat Police officer has said that the accused were hired by the gang of incarcerated gangster Lawrence Bishnoi to open fire at Khan's house.
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 14:26 IST
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 14:26 IST

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Mumbai: Two men arrested in connection with firing at Salman Khan's residence in Mumbai had conducted a recce around the actor's house at least three times before executing the plan on April 14, a senior crime branch officer said on Tuesday.

The duo Vicky Gupta (24) and Sagar Pal (21), originally from Chamaparan in Bihar, were apprehended late Monday night from Mata No Madh village in Gujarat's Kutch district.

A senior Gujarat Police officer has said that Gupta and Pal were hired by the gang of incarcerated gangster Lawrence Bishnoi to open fire at Khan's house.

However, when asked about the role of Lawrence Bishnoi, the Mumbai Police officer said they are verifying.

At around 5 am on Sunday, two motorcycle-borne men opened fire outside 58-year-old Khan's house in Bandra.

Out of five rounds fired at Galaxy Apartment, where Khan lives, one hit the wall and another hit the gallery of his residence, according to police.

Preliminary probe suggested that Pal, who was riding pillion on the motorcycle, opened fire, while Gupta remained in touch with gang members while riding the bike.

"A preliminary probe suggested that both Sagar Pal and Vicky Gupta were hired by the gang of Lawrence Bishnoi to open fire at Khan's house," Deputy Inspector General of Police, Kutch West, Mahendra Bagadiya, said earlier in the day.

After they were arrested by the Mumbai Police's crime branch team, the accused duo were flown to the Maharashtra capital by a flight on Tuesday morning, said Lakhmi Gautam, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Mumbai.

"Their medical check-up was conducted and they were produced before a court which remanded them in police custody till April 25," he said.

Considering the seriousness of the crime, section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC was added to the FIR, which was registered on charges of attempt to murder and Arms Act after the probe was transferred to the crime branch from Bandra Police, he said.

The crime branch had formed 12 teams to probe the case, he said.

Speaking about how the breakthrough was achieved, Lakhmi Gautam said, "With the help of human and technical intelligence, the crime branch team received information that the accused persons were in Gujarat, following which two teams were sent to nab them.

He said there was a possibility that the accused were carrying weapons.

"As the terrain of Bhuj was unknown to our officials, the Bhuj Superintendent of Police was informed about the accused persons," he said.

A team from the Bhuj crime branch joined Mumbai Police officials around 60 km away from Bhuj.

"After travelling around 40 kilometres farther, the two accused were nabbed by the team. They were brought to Mumbai this morning," the Joint Commissioner of Police said.

He said the preliminary investigation suggested that the accused persons carried out a recce around Khan's house at least three times before the firing.

Notably, a Facebook post claiming the responsibility for firing surfaced hours after the incident. The post was allegedly uploaded by Anmol Bishnoi, the younger brother of Lawrence Bishnoi, according to the police.

"Anmol Bishnoi's role is primarily visible in the crime and we are investigating," the officer said.

Prima facie, it was Anmol Bishnoi who posted on a Facebook account, he said.

"He used threatening language and he is basically commenting on the (firing) incident; Anmol's role is prima facie visible", Lakhmi Gautam said.

The FB account holder is named as a wanted person in the case, he added.

Queried on the involvement of other persons in the incident, he said police would investigate all the possible angles.

When asked about the involvement of the Lawrence Bishnoi gang, he said, "Mumbai Police are in touch with all states and investigating agencies where cases are registered against the particular gang".

The investigation so far suggested that Gupta was riding the motorcycle at the time of the incident, while Pal, who was riding a pillion, allegedly fired five rounds at the actor's house, a police official said.

He said a Mumbai crime branch team travelled to Champaran and questioned family members of Gupta and Pal.

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Published 16 April 2024, 14:26 IST

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