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May 9, 2024

Unaware Until Arms Delivery: Shooters’ Plot to Attack Salman Khan’s Home Revealed by Police

Two men arrested for opening fire outside Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s Mumbai residence were unaware of their target until weapons and bullets were delivered to them, police revealed on Wednesday.

The alleged shooters, Sagar Pal and Vicky Gupta, hailing from Bihar, were apprehended within 48 hours of the April 14 firing incident outside Khan’s Galaxy Apartment in Bandra. They are currently in judicial custody till May 27. During interrogation, the Mumbai Police’s crime branch discovered that Pal and Gupta were given the shooting task by Anmol Bishnoi, younger brother of jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi. However, they had no idea they were targeting Khan’s residence until the arms were delivered.

Pal, recruited into the Lawrence Bishnoi gang by a friend named Ankit, was initially added to a WhatsApp group where he was informed about the assignment. Gupta, the second shooter, was later added to the group. Ankit promised them a good sum of money in return for completing the task. The duo was handled by a person on instructions from Anmol Bishnoi, who is believed to be based abroad.

They were first given Rs 30,000 to come to Mumbai in October the previous year and search for a rented house near Panvel. In February, they were given Rs 40,000 and asked to rent a house in the Harigram area of Panvel, where Khan has a farmhouse. They were also instructed to purchase a motorbike, for which money was deposited into their bank accounts.

Prior to the delivery of weapons, they were asked to survey Khan’s residence in Bandra and his farmhouse in Panvel. On March 15, two pistols and live rounds were delivered to them at their rented home, at which point they were informed about their target, Khan’s residence. Following the delivery, Gupta recorded a call with Anmol Bishnoi, which was sent to his brother Sonu Gupta.

On April 14, the shooters fired five rounds outside Khan’s residence and fled the city, believing they would receive a good sum of money for completing the task. However, they were arrested by the crime branch team from Gujarat, along with the weapons supplier, Anuj Thapan, and Sonu Bishnoi from Punjab. Another gang member, Mohmmed Rafique Chowdhary, who provided funds to the shooters, was arrested from Rajasthan.

Chowdhary, on instructions from Anmol Bishnoi, conducted reconnaissance of Khan’s residence several times and provided videos and photos to the gang. The police are investigating if he had targeted other celebrities as well. In total, five persons were arrested in connection with the shooting incident. Anuj Thapan allegedly committed suicide in police custody on May 1.

Lawrence Bishnoi, currently imprisoned in Ahmedabad, and his brother Anmol, believed to be in the US or Canada, have been named as accused in the firing case.

The investigation into the criminal conspiracy behind the shooting incident continues as the Mumbai Police delve deeper into the gang’s activities and their connections with Bollywood celebrities.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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