Was more than one shooter present in the Lucknow courtroom, where gangster Sanjeev Maheshwari, alias Jeeva, 48, was killed during a hearing on Wednesday? How many firearms were used by the assailant?
Crucial unanswered questions like these and many more are under investigation as the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police tries to find out the exact sequence of the incident and the motive behind the murder of Maheshwari, the close aide of gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari. He had 26 criminal cases against him, dating back to 1995.
The questions popped up soon after the First Information Report (FIR) and postmortem report of Maheshwari came to the fore.
WHAT DOES THE POSTMORTEM REPORT SAY?
According to the postmortem report, there were 16 bullet wounds on Maheshwari’s body. They include eight entry and eight exit wounds, ranging from 1×1 cm to 2x2cm. Of the total bullet wounds, 12 were on his torso and four on his limbs. It also implies that eight or more than eight bullets were fired.
WHAT DOES THE FIR SAY?
According to the FIR filed by sub-inspector Udai Pratap Singh, Maheshwari was brought to the courtroom around 11:30 am for a court hearing.
Around 3:15 pm, Maheshwari sought permission to go to the toilet. While he was returning amid tight police security from the toilet to the courtroom, a man dressed as a lawyer opened fire at Maheshwari after which he fell to the ground.
In the incident, policemen, including Lal Mohammed, Kamlesh Chaudhary and a two-year-old girl, too, suffered bullet injuries.
Police arrested the shooter, identified as Vijay alias Anand Yadav who hails from Jaunpur district and recovered a revolver and six cartridge shells from the crime scene. The FIR was lodged under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including section 302 for murder, section 307 for attempt to murder, section 332 for causing hurt to public servant in the discharge of his duty, section 353 for assault or use of criminal force against public servant as well as Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment (CLA) Act.
WHAT DO FIREARMS EXPERT SAY?
According to a firearm expert, who is part of the investigation, Maheshwari was shot dead using a Czech-made .357 bore Magnum Alfa series revolver, with six rounds of fire capacity.
Rahul Raj, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), West Lucknow, said the matter is still under investigation and it will be too early to comment. He said that further investigation would reveal the actual sequence of events and the motive behind the killing.
Meanwhile, the state government has announced a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the murder.