Unit IX of Crime Branch had major success with the arrest of Prakash Nikam. Chhota Rajan aide Satish Kalia, the key conspirator in mid-day journalist J Dey’s murder case, had hired the 33-year-old shooter to bump off Rajan’s rival Ajay Gosalia, a bookie-turned-builder in Malad. Nikam was picked up from Diva last afternoon and the police confiscated a firearm from him. Investigations revealed that he had received R5 lakh from Kalia for the job.
Unit XI officials said Nikam is a history-sheeter and they have been hunting for him for the last three years for his involvement in two shootouts in Kherwadi in 2011. Nikam started working for Kalia, a sharp shooter himself, in 2003 and was involved in several crimes like extortion, shootouts, and attempt to murder. He has 10 cases registered against him at various police stations in the city. Though he was arrested in 2003 with Kalia, he managed to secure bail. Once out, he went back to committing crimes at Kalia’s behest.
Sources claimed that Kalia, on Rajan’s order, hatched the plot inside the jail to bump off Gosalia and assigned Nikam the job. Gosalia had been on Rajan’s hitlist for a long time, but lack of shooters had prevented him from executing his plan. He finally assigned Kalia the job, who handed over the contract to Nikam. The Crime Branch have already submitted a plea in the Killa Court to interrogate Kalia for his involvement in this particular case and are awaiting court’s order.
Gosalia was exiting the Infiniti Mall in Malad (West) when Nikam fired five rounds at him on August 28, 2013. This was the third attack on him. He had escaped the previous two unhurt. Based on the CCTV footage, the police identified Nikam as the shooter. The case was initially registered at the Bangur Nagar police station, but was later transferred to the Crime Branch (unit XI).
Investigations led to arrests of Kaushik Gaur, a close aide of an encounter specialist, and Abhay Shinde, who is alleged to have pointed out Gosalia to the assailant. These two gave Nikam monetary and logistical support.
Interrogations revealed that Rajan had given them the contract to kill Gosalia. After learning that a Rajan man had given the contract, cops arrested Rajendra Yadav alias Tiwari from Indore and Rohit Vishwakarma from UP, who were with Nikam on the day of shooting. Nikam then went into hiding.