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52-year-old arrested for opening fire outside dairy shop in Navi Mumbai

By Farhan Shaikh, Navi Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON SEP 28, 2020 11:08 PM IST

The Nhava Sheva police arrested a 52-year-old man after he allegedly opened fire outside a dairy shop in Ulwe on Sunday evening. The accused, identified as Ashish Chaudhary, runs a news channel on a video-sharing platform and claims to be a film director. He is booked under charges of extortion and firing.

According to the police, Chaudhary came across a dairy shop at Sector 18 around 7.30pm where some customers were having tea and snacks. Chaudhary approached the owner and argued with him over the lack of social distancing at the shop, said the police.

“Chaudhary then introduced himself as a media person and told the shop owner that if he failed to ensure social distancing norms in his shop, the accused would record a video and put it up on his news channel. This led to an argument between the duo, during which Chaudhary pulled out a gun and fired in the direction of the shop,” said an officer from Nhava Sheva police station.

The customers immediately fled the shop and the owner alerted the police about the incident.

“No one was injured in the incident. We have seized the firearm from the accused’s possession and will send it to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for a ballistics test to establish if it is a real gun,” said Abhijit More, assistant inspector, Nhava Sheva police station. The FSL report will also make it clear if the gun can fire real bullets, said the police.

Chaudhary was booked under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Indian Arms Act. A magistrate court remanded him in police custody till October 1.

The police said they will interrogate Chaudhary to find out where he procured the gun from and to verify if he has any previous complaints of extortions against him.

Officers said that apart from running his news channel from the past two years, Chaudhary has also claimed to be a director and that he worked in reality crime shows and is the founder of a social organisation. Police are verifying his claims.

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