BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan, 55, was critically injured after he was shot at point-blank range by his younger brother Pravin Mahajan, on Saturday morning at his residence in Worli, in central Mumbai.
The incident took place around around 8 a.m. after a heated argument between the two. The BJP leader's wife and some other family member witnessed the shocking incident after which a doctor living in the same apartment complex rushed him to the Hinduja hospital where he was immediately operated upon by a team of surgeons.
After a four-hour emergency surgery to deal with critical injuries in his liver, lower chest, abdomen and pancreas, Dr Anupam Verma, dean of the Hinduja hospital, said that the BJP General Secretary's condition was quite critical and that he had been put on the ventilator.
Mahajan was brought to the hospital at 8.20 am. He had three bullet injuries in the liver, lower chest and abdomen because of which he suffered massive blood loss. and had to be been given as many as 25 bottles of blood, the doctors said. After the surgery, he has been shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with doctors describing his situation as stable but emphasising that the next 48 hours would be critical.
Shot at point-blank range, bullets travelled through the right lower part of
his chest, through the diaphragm. They went through the liver, shattering its
right side, damaged the head of the pancreas, duodenum and inferior venacava (IVC),
which is the main vein in the abdomen carrying blood to the heart. There are
also injuries to the small intestine. The injury to the IVC has been repaired
and bleeding from there and from the head of the pancreas has stopped. The
internal injuries have been repaired, the doctor said, but added that since the
injury to the liver was extensive, pads were being used to stop the bleeding. But because the injuries were all in the left side of the body, there was no damage to his heart, which can only be termed as a miraculous escape, given that he was shot at from a point-lank range, according to medical experts.
Confusion prevailed over what motivated Pravin, 45, a building contractor, to shoot at his brother. Initial reports had suggested that it was a property dispute between them, but the claims were dismissed both by the police and another brother, Prakash, who lives in Aurangabad.
After shooting his brother Pravin went to the police station with the revolver, with which he had shot Mahajan and surrendered. He "confessed" to having shot the BJP leader, according to the police.
While Pravin, who has been charged with attempt to murder, was being interrogated at the police station, his lawyer Nand Kumar Rajurkar claimed that his client had a mental condition. Pravin has a "well-knit" family consisting of his wife and two children, the lawyer said.
Not much is known about Praveen Mahajan, the youngest of the five Mahajan siblings (Pramod Mahajan is the eldest of them all, the second son Prakash is settled in Aurangabad, and of the two sisters, Pratibha and Pradnya, the latter is married to former Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Gopinath Munde). Said to be in his late 40s, he is perceived to be a reclusive man who was hardly ever seen at Mahajan family functions.
Close family sources claim that Pramod Mahajan was like a father figure to Pravin, who ran a small construction business in the extended suburb of Mumbai in Thane. Sources claim that Pramod Mahajan had constantly supported Pravin financially in his various ventures. "I paid the price of being Pramod Mahajn's brother" was one of the statements attributed to him during his interrogation. While various theories do the rounds, only this much can be established with any certainty: that Pravin Mahajan descended on Pramod Mahajan's residence early in the morning. He is said to have been angry that he could not get a meeting with Pramod for the last fortnight or so, but the two brothers are said to have had a heated telephone discussion the night before which apparently upset Pravin even more. A verbal altercation followed and that is when Pravin is said to have shot him with his licenced gun.
As the news of Mahajan being shot at spread, a large number of BJP supporters rushed to the hospital and police had a tough time in controlling the crowd. Top BJP leaders, including L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and M Venkaiah Naidu have rushed to Mumbai. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in constant touch with Mahajan's family. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to Mahajan's wife before he left for his five-day visit to Germany and Uzbekistan.
Shiv Sena leaders Manohar Joshi, Uddhav Thackarey, film personalities Hema Malini and Madhur Bhandarkar, Maharshtra Ministers Chagan Bhujbal and Dilip-Walse Patil visited the hospital to enquire about Mahajan's condition.
Earlier, Mahajan had been fired upon during the elections in Bihar, but had escaped unhurt and another BJP leader, Ravi Shankar Prasad, had sustained injuries. Pramod Mahajan was said to have been the target of that attack, which was widely seen as political in nature.
with inputs from PTI