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Saamana promoted Mauris Noronha, says Uday Samant in attack on Shiv Sena UBT

Feb 09, 2024 03:05 PM IST

Maharashtra minister Uday Samant hit back after Sanjay Raut put out a photograph which showed Mauris Noronha and Eknath Shinde in the same frame

MUMBAI: Former Shiv Sena (UBT) corporator Abhishek Ghosalkar’s sensational killing during a live session on Facebook on Thursday triggered a sharp back-and-forth between the two factions of the Shiv Sena, mostly centered around linking the accused, Mauris Noronha, to the rival camp.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and MP Sanjay Raut posted a photograph of Mauris Noronha and Eknath Shinde (X/rautsanjay61)

Hours after Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut put out a photograph that showed Mauris Noronha and Eknath Shinde in the same frame and alleged that Noronha was extended an invite to join the Eknath Shinde-led Sena, Maharashtra industries minister Uday Samant hit back.

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Samant, who is known to be close to Shinde, said it was ‘Saamana’, the Sena’s mouthpiece edited by Uddhav Thackeray, that promoted Noronha “by giving publicity to his social activities”. “It was Saamana which published news articles about Noronha and helped him to establish in the area,” said Samant, indicating that the Thackeray faction encouraged Noronha to challenge Ghosalkar in Borivali, where both sought to prove their dominance.

Ghosalkar, 41, sustained three gunshot injuries fired by Noronha, 52, who moments later, shot himself in the head and died on the spot. Ghosalkar’s killing was preceded by a 4-minute-long interaction live-streamed on Noronha’s Facebook page in which the two men spoke putting aside their differences, starting the year on a positive note, and working together for the people.

Abhishek Ghosalkar was wrapping up when Noronha, who had stepped away moments earlier, shot at him from close range. Noronha then shot himself in the head. Both of them were rushed to the Karuna Hospital a short distance from the spot. Neither of them made it.

On Friday as the politics around the tragedy heated up, Samant rejected Raut’s attempt to link Noronha to Eknath Shinde and hurled a bunch of questions at the Sena’s UBT faction. The minister said Ghosalkar was “forced” to patch up with Noronha

“Abhishek went to Noronha’s office in the evening. Whom did Abhishek meet in the afternoon and who asked him to sort out the differences with Noronha?” Samant asked.

A senior investigating officer at Borivali said it appeared political rivalry was at the heart of the shooting.

Noronha, a businessman who had helped people during Covid-19 and earned goodwill in the area, called himself a “Covid Warrior” in the posters and hoardings that he put up in the area. He wanted to contest the municipal elections from IC Colony which has a majority population of Catholics.

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