Mumbai: A Mumbai Court remanded Amarendra Mishra – arrested in connection with a weapons case arising from the killing of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Abhishek Ghosalkar – to four days’ police custody till February 13, even as the police added murder charges against him, here on Saturday.
Mishra, 44, was produced before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Laxmikant Padhen on Saturday after his arrest on Friday under the Arms Act, Section 29 (b).
Mishra’s lawyer, Shambhu Jha said that the Maharashtra police, among other things, sought the custody of Mishra on grounds that he was not cooperating with the investigations.
“The police have also added IPC Section 302 (murder) in the case, though this charge is not applicable in the present matter. The police are trying to implicate him as the case is a politically high-profile one and to deny him bail by invoking a higher charge,” said Advocate Jha in a statement.
He also argued in the court that Mishra, 44, has been cooperating with the police investigation and his remand was not necessary.
“Due to political pressures since it’s a high profile matter, this poor bodyguard is being implicated in the matter. At the most he can be booked for not registering the weapon (gun registered with Uttar Pradesh authorities) which is a bailable offence and attracts maximum six months’ punishment,” said Jha.
The lawyer said the entire matter was clear in the video footage of the incident (Facebook Live session), but the police were deliberately making him a scapegoat, as it’s a high-profile case, by invoking Section 302 to ensure he doesn’t get bail.
“Now, we shall be able to apply for bail only after his police custody ends,” added Jha.
Mishra, who joined the gangster-businessman Mauris Noronha as his personal bodyguard three months ago, was arrested as the purported weapon used in the murder-cum-suicide case, belonged to him.
Mauris Noronha reportedly took the revolver belonging to Mishra to shoot Ghosalkar during the Facebook Live session at his IC Colony office, and then ran upstairs to the mezzanine floor of his office and shot himself multiple times.
Seeking seven days’ custody, the police prosecutor informed the ACMM’s court that they needed to verify whether the arms licence submitted by Mishra, living in Bhayander east (Thane), was indeed genuine.
The police also sought to confirm if there were any financial dealings between Mishra and Mauris Noronha, which could be the probable reason why Mishra handed over his weapon to him, why it was not registered in Mumbai also, his salary details, and other things.
After the ACMM Padhen sent him to police custody, Mishra was escorted outside court. On seeing the media there he immediately started shouting “I have been framed… Injustice is being done to me…I am being trapped”, before the police team subdued him.
The February 8 incident has sparked a massive public and political outrage in Maharashtra.