Mumbai, Aug. 28: A cricket bookie earlier alleged to be linked to Dawood Ibrahim and facing extortion and land-grabbing cases was shot at near a prominent city mall today.
Ajay Gosalia alias Ajay Ganda, in his mid-forties, took two bullets in the chest and hand before being rushed to hospital where he was said to be out of danger.
Gosalia was standing near Malad’s Infinity Mall when an Innova pulled up in front of him around 4.10pm.
Three men emerged from the SUV and fired before getting back into the vehicle and speeding away, eyewitnesses and police said. The attack triggered panic among passersby and residents who frequent the mall.
Gosalia, who had in the past allegedly worked with Dawood’s gang, sought police protection two years ago. He claimed two assailants tried to kill him but could not open fire as their guns jammed. But the police had said he had cooked up a story to seek security.
In the past, Gosalia has been arrested in connection with extortion, rioting and betting cases. In 2004, he was held in a land-grab case related to a prime plot in Malad, not far from where today’s shooting occurred.
Gosalia and Iqbal Attarwala, an alleged henchman of gangster Chhota Shakeel, were accused of storming into the 2,300sqm plot and putting up their own guards after assaulting the owner’s watchmen.
In 2008, Gosalia was arrested for threatening a builder and demanding two flats in a slum redevelopment housing scheme in Kandivli, 5km from Malad, police sources said.