The Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Tuesday arrested an alleged aide of fugitive gangster Chhota Rajan in connection with the attempt on the life of builder Ajay Gosalia in Goregaon last year. The police said the accused, Prakash Nikam (33), was the triggerman in the murder attempt and was in constant touch with Rohit Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalia, another aide of Rajan.
In August last year, Gosalia, a resident of Borivali, was leaving Infiniti Mall in Goregaon when he was shot at. Gosalia took four bullets in his neck and torso, and was rushed to a nearby hospital. The crime branch had arrested seven people, but the shooter, later identified as Nikam, continued to evade them.
“On Tuesday, we received a tip-off about Nikam’s whereabouts, and after verifying the information, we picked up Nikam from Diva. He was found to be in possession of a factory-made automatic handgun and five live rounds, which have been seized,” said an officer with the Crime Branch’s Unit 11.
The officer added that Nikam was a seasoned criminal and had ten cases, including attempt to murder, extortion and assault, registered against him at various police stations in the city. “He has been in direct touch with Kalia, who reportedly is a top “handler” in the Rajan gang’s hierarchy, and is involved in terrorising builders and businessmen in Mumbai, extorting money from them, and attacking them in case of noncompliance on instructions from the Chhota Rajan gang,” the police said.
Kalia and five others were arrested in 2005 in an extortion case and were subsequently sentenced to three-year imprisonment. “During this time, Nikam met Kalia and his associates, as they were lodged in the same prison. After being released from prison, Nikam stayed in touch with Kalia and subsequently started working for the Rajan gang,” the officer added.
Kalia is also one of the accused in the 2011 murder of veteran journalist Jyotirmoy Dey.