Pravin Mishra, 20, and Abhishek Singh, 22, the two alleged shooters from Uttar Pradesh who killed a security guard, Ajit Aroonkar, at the Marine Lines office of businessman Manish Dholakia on February 8, got just Rs 5,000 of the Rs 5 lakh promised for the job because they missed the real target – Dholakia.
Police said the man, known only as Rauf, who hired them for the job, vanished after receiving Rs 3 lakh from a hawala operator that was to be paid to the shooters. The police are looking for the operator.
Meanwhile, a crime branch official said Singh was a college student back in the duo’s hometown in Basti district. He said while Singh is a third year Arts student, Mishra had to quit his education in the first year due to lack of finances. He was employed as a milk vendor.
Police said it was a desire to overcome crippling poverty that made the duo commit the crime that had been organised by Anees Ibrahim, the younger brother of Dawood Ibrahim.
But, joint commissioner of police, crime, Himanshu Roy, said, “Every criminal pleads innocence after he is caught. Their being students does not lessen the gravity of their crime.”
Police said that at times, the duo would also do part-time assignments for a PWD sub-contractor. “Their income was erratic, so, they told the sub-contractor to find some work for them,” the official said.
In the last week of January, Rauf from Lucknow, who hires shooters for the D-Gang, told the sub-contractor to arrange for a couple of hit-men. The sub-contractor told Mishra and Pravin about it and they agreed to take up the assignment as they were promised Rs five lakh.
The official said Rauf brought Mishra and Singh to Nashik on February 6. Gitaram Jadhav alias Mauli, a confidant of alleged Dawood aide Ramdas Rahane brought them to his Ghatkopar home. “Here they were taught how to operate pistols,” the official said.
Crime branch sources said supari for Dholakia could have been given by some “insider” who wanted Sharada Mansion at New Marine Lines.
The market price of the 8-storey building will run into crores. Presently, Dholakia claims ownership of the property.