The crime branch has started digging into the antecedents of businessman Manish Dholakia in order to ascertain the reason behind the shootout at his office on Tuesday.
Manish, who appeared to have been the actual target of the assailants, escaped unhurt, while his 45-year-old office guard Ajit Aroonkar was killed in the shootout.
Sources in the crime branch told the Hindustan Times on Wednesday that checking Dholakia's antecedents had become necessary in the absence of any definite motive behind the crime. "Dholakia claims that he had never been threatened by any underworld element. Moreover, he says he doesn't have enmity with anybody in the industry (construction). Why would someone then try to harm him?" sources added.
The police, however, have every reason to suspect Dholakia's claims. Manish, son of former close Dawood Ibrahim aide Mahesh Dholakia, who was gunned down in south Mumbai in 1987 by Arun Gawli-Rama Nayak gang, had last received threatening calls from the underworld (said to be Chhota Shakeel) almost five years ago. After this, he never reported any such incident.
Over the years, he had increased security around him by hiring a posse of armed security guards. "Why would someone, who claims to be leading a trouble-free life, hire so many guards?" a crime branch officer asked. Given his family antecedents, it seems unlikely that the underworld had severed all ties with them.
Sources said Manish, who had inherited several properties, could have been possibly targeted by the underworld following his refusal to give them a share.
An internal rivalry in the family over the ownership of the sprawling properties is another angle, which the police have been looking at.
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police, crime, said, "We are investigating the case from all possible angles. We are not ruling out any possibility."