Raju Ghuge (40), a plumber, and key witness in the Andheri shootout case, is still clueless about the behaviour of Harish Marolia (57), with whom he spent more than an hour just before the shootout.
Ghuge has done plumbing work at Saujanya Apartment [where the shootout occurred] for more than 14 years.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, he said: “On that morning, I was sitting near a temple inside the building compound. That’s when Harish came down and sat with me for an hour.”
Ghuge, a Parbhani native, said: “Harish was ranting against the building society members, especially the office-bearers, and said even I was an accessory in the corruption that they allegedly indulged in. He also said a goddess had appeared to him and asked him to take on the big thieves [society members],” he added.
Describing his close brush with the crime, the lanky Ghuge said: “During his argument with the society members, Harish grabbed my hair and put the gun to my head. That’s when it hit me — the realisation that I’d spent an hour chatting with a man who’d been carrying a gun in his pocket.”
Ghuge said that when Marolia dragged his 14-year-old victim upstairs, Ghuge and a few other society members followed him, but Marolia fired one round at them.
“Had the police not come on time, many more would have died,” he said.