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Firing outside Salman Khan's residence: Mumbai Police invoke MCOCA against Bishnoi, other accused

Mumbai (Maharashtra): The Mumbai Police on Saturday invoked the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against all the accused arrested in connection with the firing incident outside superstar Salman Khan's Bandra residence.

Mumbai Crime Branch officials said that the police have identified gangster Lawrence Bishnoi as the leader of the gang and have added sections of MCOCA in the FIR.

"All accused have been booked under Sections 3(1)(2), 3(1)(3), and 3(1)(4) of MCOCA," they said.

Mumbai Crime Police have arrested both the shooters, identified as Sagar Pal and Vicky Gupta. Two arms suppliers, identified as Sonu Subhash Chander and Anuj Thapan, were also arrested by the police on Friday. Meanwhile, a lookout notice has been issued against Anmol Bishnoi, the younger brother of jailed gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, in connection with the case.

On April 14, two men came on a motorcycle, fired four rounds outside the Galaxy Apartments, where the actor resides, around 5 am, and fled.

Earlier, the Mumbai Police registered a case against four people in the firing case, naming the Bishnoi brothers as key accused. The sections under IPC 506(2) (threatening), 115 (abetment), and 201 (tampering with evidence) have been added to the case.

Mumbai Crime Branch officials said that gangster Lawrence Bishnoi and his brother Anmol Bishnoi have been declared wanted accused in connection with the case. Anmol Bishnoi claimed responsibility for the firing outside Salman's residence in a Facebook post following the attack.

The accused, Vicky Gupta and Sagar Pal, were grilled by officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for several hours on Friday. They were brought to Mumbai on Thursday under transit remand secured by the Crime Branch.

On Thursday, the Esplanade Court extended the police custody of both the accused arrested in connection with the firing incident until April 29.

They were produced before the metropolitan magistrate's court here after their previous remand ended on Thursday and were remanded in custody of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch.

Earlier, the Crime Branch said that it recovered strong evidence against gangster Lawrence Bishnoi and his brother Anmol Bishnoi, identifying them as the key conspirators and 'most wanted' in the case.

According to the Mumbai Crime Branch, before the firing occurred, the shooters had reached Salman's residence four times. They had also staked out Salman's farmhouse, the Crime Branch informed, adding that since the actor hadn't visited his farmhouse over several days, they planned to execute the firing outside his plush Galaxy Apartments residence in Bandra.

The Crime Branch recovered a broken mobile phone from the accused at the time of their arrest, adding that they were in possession of more than one phone. The Crime Branch said that they were looking into the other phones as well. They also mentioned the recovery of the second pistol, along with four magazines and 17 rounds from the Tapi River of Surat.

The sleuths stated earlier that they fished out the pistol from the river on April 22 and also found the footprint of one of the arrested shooters, Vicky Gupta, while he was making a getaway from Mumbai to Gujarat's Bhuj. The Crime Branch said the shooters disposed of the firearm in the Tapi River near Surat while making their escape.

The police said they were searching for more mobile handsets that they may have disposed of in the river, adding that they moved money to the bank several times.

The involvement of the Bishnoi brothers was corroborated by statements made on social media, where Anmol Bishnoi purportedly claimed responsibility for the attack in a Facebook post.

Mumbai Crime Branch officials have intensified their efforts to apprehend the wanted individuals and gather further evidence in connection to the case. 

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