A 71-year-old man, who headed several mosque trusts in the city and satellite townships, was allegedly shot dead by two motorcycle borne assailants while he was returning home after offering evening prayers at the Dalmia mosque, Dockyard Road, on Monday.
Maulana Akhtar Hussain Ansari, a resident of Madanpura who headed the reputed Juni Masjid trust at Nagpada, was shot from a close range and he died on the spot.
LH Mathure, senior police inspector, said Ansari was also a small-time developer and a real estate agent. Ansari had stopped his motorcycle at a junction near the Dockyard Road station when the pillion rider of another motorcycle allegedly fired at him. “We have recorded the statement of a truck driver who saw Ansari being shot,” said Mathure. The police said Ansari was rushed to Prince Aly Khan Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. “The assailants opened fire and shot one round which pierced through his heart from rear. Locals rushed him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead,” said Mathure.
The crime branch, which has begun a parallel probe into the incident, has learnt that Ansari also headed a Masjid Trust at Mumbra. “It (the incident) appears to have been carried out for some property dispute,” joint commissioner of police, crime, Himanshu Roy said. He said the crime branch has learnt that Ansari had been threatened in the past over the property but never approached the police.
The crime branch also suspects that the killers were professionals. “The bullet entered from his back and pierced through his heart,” Roy said adding, “only a professional could fire from a moving vehicle at a moving target with such accuracy.” Ansari’s family refused to comment on the shootout.