Mumbai: A suspected sharpshooter allegedly associated with underworld don Chhota Rajan has been arrested in connection with the bookie-turned-builder Ajay Gosalia firing case, a crime branch officer said here on Tuesday.
Acting on a tip-off, a trap was laid and sharpshooter Prakash Nikam (33), who was involved in offences such as extortion and attempt murders earlier, was arrested from Diva in Thane in the Gosalia firing case and a sophisticated Indian-made pistol with five live rounds was confiscated from him, an Crime Branch XI official said.
Nikam`s arrest has taken the total number of arrests in the Gosalia firing case to seven, he said.
Allegedly, Nikam was among the three sharpshooters who fired at Gosalia and since the murder attempt, he had changed hideouts to evade arrest, the officer said.
On August 28 last year, five rounds were fired at a Borivli resident called Gosalia, while he was coming out of from Infiniti Mall in Malad.
Gosalia survived the attack, but four bullets hit his shoulder, stomach, leg and hand. This was the third attack on Gosalia, who had escaped unhurt in the two attempts earlier.
A case was registered at the Bangur Nagar police station, but later it was transferred to the Crime Branch for investigation.
A few days later, the police arrested Kaushik Gaur and Abhay Shinde, who allegedly hatched the conspiracy at the behest of Satish Kalia, who was arrested for killing senior crime journalist J Dey in 2011 and is currently in jail.
Kalia was arrested in the firing case, while two sharpshooters out of the three, namely Rajendra Yadav, Rohit Vishwakarma and one more accomplice were apprehended later.
A probe revealed that Gaur first rang up Satish Kalia who met him later and gave him a contract to kill Gosalia.
Accordingly, sharpshooters were arranged, though the motive behind the attempt is not clear, the police said.
Stringent provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 (MCOCA) were invoked against the accused, the police said.