Salman Khan firing case: Did gunmen want police to find them?

17 April,2024 06:53 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Shirish Vaktania

Motorcycle-borne assailants who opened fire at Salman Khan’s Bandra residence seem to have deliberately left solid clues for the police to follow the crumb trail right up to their homes 850 km away in Bhuj

The accused were arrested from Bhuj

Key Highlights

Did the shooters at Galaxy Apartment deliberately leave enough clues behind, making it an easy job for the cops? The Mumbai Crime Branch discovered that the arrested accused purposely left behind various clues and pieces of evidence that aided the police in tracing them.

Right from the beginning of the shootout, The shooters, Vickey Kumar Gupta, 25; and Sagar Kumar Pal, 23, members of the Bishnoi gang who are now in custody, left behind hints, making it a cakewalk for the cops to arrest them. On Sunday morning, instead of disposing of the bike used in the firing carefully, they abandoned it hardly one kilometre away from Salman's residence at the gate of Mount Mary Church in Bandra.

The first clue was the bike the shooters abandoned some distance from Salman Khan's house. Illustration/Uday Mohite

Officials said that the bike was found with the original number plate, which played a crucial role in the investigations. "They could have easily destroyed the number plate or the bike, but it was abandoned so close to the crime scene," an officer from Bandra police station said.

Original documents used

Also, the accused bought the bike used in the firing with their original documents. If that was not enough for the cops to trace them, they also made a rental agreement with their landlord using their original documents and genuine phone numbers. Police found that there was no effort made to hide the address of the temporary rented accommodation from the bike owner.

Eventually, with his questioning, the cops traced the landlord of their house. They made a house rental agreement in Panvel using their original Aadhar card and Pan card. The investigation also revealed that the accused were in contact with a member of the Bishnoi gang who instructed them to leave behind evidence for the police to find and on their next steps.

The accused being produced at Esplanade court in Mumbai

The duo belonged to Champaran district in Bihar and have been working for the gangster Lawrence Bishnoi and his gang for the past two years. Crime Branch officials believe that the Bishnoi gang intended to only warn Salman Khan and not harm him. The gang also wanted Gupta and Pal to be arrested so that he could confirm and take responsibility for the firing to instil fear in the public on behalf of their gang.

Escaped to Surat

Sources revealed that after the firing, the accused informed the Bishnoi gang member that they had completed their task and were fleeing. They were instructed to leave the bike outside Mount Mary church in Bandra and leave the spot. The accused then took an auto to Bandra railway station, boarded a slow local train for Santacruz station. The two then took another auto to Vakola signal on the Western Express Highway and changed to yet another auto to reach the Mira Road area. Subsequently, they travelled to Surat, Gujarat by rented car and took public transport.

The Unit 9 crime branch officer, Daya Nayak, received a tip-off about the accused hiding in a Mataji temple (Madh) in the Kutch Bhuj area in Gujarat. The officers checked the route of the bus and reached Kutch, and before reaching, they informed the local Crime Branch of Kutch Bhuj to identify them. The Mumbai Crime Branch team also shared the photos of the suspected accused with the Gujarat Crime Branch, and they checked the Mataji temple area and found both accused and took them into custody.

In the investigation, police also found that this was the second visit of the shooters to Mumbai. Earlier, they had arrived in Mumbai in February and had returned to their hometown for Holi celebration on March 24, and they returned again to Mumbai on April 1. The cops also found that the gun was delivered to them after April 1. Cops assumed that the firing plan was planned before February 28 by the Bishnoi gang. Cops also found that the pistol which was used for firing was of high-range quality. Both accused also took basic training in Haryana. Interestingly, cops didn't find any criminal records of both accused. Cops also recovered 1 phone from them. Cops suspected they threw the gun into some river.

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bandra Salman Khan mumbai crime branch mumbai crime news mumbai police bhuj mumbai mumbai news
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