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Indian politician shot dead during Facebook live with ‘old rival’

Incident captured in live feed as Abhishek Ghosalkar was seen talking with another local political leader Mauris Noronha, who was later also found dead

Arpan Rai
Friday 09 February 2024 17:09 GMT
Uddhav Sena leader Abhishek Ghosalkar shot dead, during Facebook Live

An Indian politician has been shot dead in Mumbai during a Facebook Live stream where he was seen meeting with an old political rival.

The incident took place in Mumbai’s Dahisar district on Thursday, where police say local businessman Mauris Noronha tricked former Shiv Sena politician Abhishek Ghosalkar into meeting with him before shooting him dead.

Noronha was also found dead shortly after and appeared to have shot himself, reported The Indian Express.

In a graphic video being shared online in India, Ghosalkar and Noronha address the camera saying that they had decided to move past their prior political rivalry and settle their differences.

The pair can be seen together in the same frame talking comfortably, saying they are now on good terms.

“Today we have decided to come together and unite. We have decided to distribute sari and ration together,” Noronha is heard saying in the video shot in his office.

“It is a good decision to work together for the betterment of the public. We are distributing sarees to 300 working and needy women. We will work together and serve the people of Kandarpada [Mumbai locality],” Ghosalkar said in the video.

He added: “We have taken this resolution on this new year, which is a new beginning of our friendship and collaboration.”

Not long into the four minute, 26-second video, however, Noronha is seen getting up and leaving the room as the Facebook Live session appears to be coming to an end. The sounds of five gunshots are then heard as Ghosalkar is still visible in the frame.

Police officials said both Ghosalkar and Noronha had succumbed to their injuries at the scene and their bodies had been taken to different hospitals for autopsy.

Mumbai police officials have said they are in the process of filing a murder case in connection with the killing, while an accidental death report will be filed in Noronha case.

Ghosalkar belonged to the Shiv Sena party, which is currently the main opposition party in Maharashtra state, and previously worked as an official in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), India’s richest local authority.

Another local official from the party said that the duo had disagreed in the past.

“Abhishek and Mauris had a past dispute but recently their dispute was settled,” Vilas Potnis told The Indian Express. “Mauris had called Abhishek at a saree distribution function at his office (in IC Colony area) and during the event he took him inside his cabin and shot him over some dispute.” He added that Noronha fired bullets using his revolver and then later also shot himself.

Opposition figures said the disturbing video raised questions over the law and order situation in a key state ruled by Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.

“Maharashtra has seen lawlessness like never before,” he said. “It is shocking beyond words to see the law and order situation fail, as it has today. Does the system exist at all to protect the common man? Does the fear of the law exist?” asked Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA and former education minister Aaditya Thackeray.

The shooting comes less than a week after a BJP MLA was accused of shooting another Shiv Sena politician from a different faction in Thane. The victim survived the attack and is now recovering.

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