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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Salman Khan firing case Had no idea jobless tenants were on such a mission

Salman Khan firing case: ‘Had no idea jobless tenants were on such a mission!’

Updated on: 18 April,2024 06:53 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Shirish Vaktania |

Landlord of Panvel flat says Salman Khan’s shooters said they were looking for a job; signed agreement for 11 months to convince him of their authenticity

Salman Khan firing case: ‘Had no idea jobless tenants were on such a mission!’

The two shooters; the house owner of Hari Gram village in Panvel who had rented out the flat to Salman Khan’s shooters. Pic/Rajesh Gupta

"I had never imagined in my wildest dreams that the youths were involved in such a serious crime of firing at Salman Khan’s residence in Bandra,” said the landlord, who requested mid-day not to disclose his name. “The two shooters, Vickey Kumar Gupta, 25 and Sagar Kumar Pal, 23, rented a one-room kitchen flat in Shree Radha Krishna Apartment at Hari Gram village, Panvel.
This village is just 7 km away from Salman Khan’s farmhouse. The entire village is shocked at how these shooters were emboldened to breach their trust by providing true identities. Villagers believed that the shooters chose to reside at their village due to proximity to Salman Khan’ farmhouse. Speaking to mid-day, the landlord said, “I developed my land, constructed a building, sold many flats and rented out the remaining ones. A few months ago, two men who got off at Panvel station enquired with an auto driver to rent a room. The auto driver brought them to my Hari Gram village in Panvel.”

The shooters may have chosen Hari Gram village in Panvel owing to its proximity to Salman’s farmhouse
The shooters may have chosen Hari Gram village in Panvel owing to its proximity to Salman’s farmhouse

“They inquired about a room for rent in the village and came to my door. My son showed them the available flats. They informed me that they had come to Mumbai in search of jobs. When I asked them about the type of job they were looking for, they replied that being in Mumbai, they would easily find one. I quoted the rent for the one room kitchen at Rs 3,000 per month and a deposit of Rs 10,000, to which they agreed,” the landlord said.

“I told them that I could not rent out the flat without an agreement. They provided me with all the necessary documents for the agreement. Following all legal procedures, I rented out the flat to them. My son finalised the agreement, collected their adhaar card and pan card, and completed the paperwork. Thereafter, I did not interact much with them and all of a sudden the police arrived at my doorstep, summoned my son for questioning at the Bandra crime branch office. My son provided all the information about the accused and we handed over all the details of the agreement,” the landlord said.

“We had believed they had come to Mumbai to pursue their dreams of finding a job, but it is disturbing to learn that they were involved in such a serious crime of firing at Salman Khan’s house, which is now causing distress to me and my family. We are not involved with them and we are innocent,” the landlord said. The residents of Radha Krishna Apartment told mid-day, “We seldom saw them. Their rooms were often locked and they would return home late at night. We are shocked to learn that they resided in our society and fired shots at Salman Khan’s house.”

The shooters had rented a flat in Radha Krishna apartment
The shooters had rented a flat in Radha Krishna apartment

Mid-day also spoke with several auto drivers at Hari Gram village in Panvel. They mentioned that they parked 6-7 autos at the village gate daily, ferrying villagers to Panvel railway station and back. They did not recognize the accused individuals, as they also offered shared rides.

One auto driver mentioned to mid-day, “When the accused arrived in Mumbai and reached Panvel station, they initially asked an auto driver to find a rented house near a village where Salman Khan’s farmhouse is located. The auto driver took them to Hari Gram village in Panvel, which is about 6-7 kilometers from Panvel station. We only saw them a few times, but we are certain they visited Salman Khan’s farmhouse, possibly, in an auto hired from outside the village.”

The mid-day team also visited Salman Khan’s Arpita farmhouse in Waje village in Panvel, around 15 kilometres from Panvel station and 6-7 kilometers from Hari Gram village where the accused individuals rented a flat. The Mumbai crime branch initiated an investigation into why these shooters chose to stay near Salman Khan’s Arpita farmhouse in Panvel? If their plan was to fire at Salman Khan’s Galaxy Apartment at Bandstand in Bandra, then why did they choose to stay in the village of Panvel, a distance which would take 2-3 hours by road to cover?

Both accused individuals are from the Champaran district and received training in Haryana. Their first task was to fire shots at Salman Khan’s residence. The Mumbai crime branch is searching for a third person who was in constant contact with the accused after the firing incident. The accused left enough evidence behind, such as parking their bike outside Mount Mary church after the firing, which was only around 800 meters away. They did not change the bike’s number plate, leaving it as it was.

The accused were aware that the police could trace them using the bike’s registration number. The Bandra police first found the bike and then traced the details of the accused in Panvel. The police then reached out to the bike owner and later to the rented house in Panvel. They also obtained all the details of the agreement and the original identities used in the agreement and bike purchase. After the firing incident the security increased at Panvel farmhouse and also cops started scanning the CCTV cameras of the farmhouse of the past two-three months.

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