The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) will, on Monday, take the two men it had arrested in connection with the Mansukh Hiran murder case to Mumbra creek in neighbouring Thane district where his body was found on March 5, an official said.
The ATS on Saturday night arrested suspended cop Vinayak Shinde and cricket bookie Naresh Gaur in connection with the alleged murder of Hiran, the purported owner of the explosives-laden SUV which was found parked outside the south Mumbai residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani last month.
According to the ATS, Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze, now suspended and in custody of the NIA, had played a key role and emerged as the prime accused in the Hiran murder case.
“Suspended cop Vinayak Shinde and bookie Naresh Gaur will be taken to Retibunder area near Mumbra creek where Hiran’s body was found (on March 5),” the official said.
He stated that he salutes all his officers who worked day and night to work fair on this case and that it was one of the most challenging cases of his life. The accused Shinde is a convict in the 2006 Lakhan Bhaiya fake encounter case who came out of jail on furlough last year, an ATS official had said, adding that Shinde had been in touch with Waze since then.
Prima facie, it was Shinde who had called Hiran from suburban Kandivali by identifying himself as “Tawde saheb” on March 4, a day before the Thane-based businessman’s body was found in the creek.
Waze is currently in the custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which is probing the recovery of the vehicle containing gelatin sticks and a threat letter which was found parked near Ambani’s residence Antilla.
The Union Home Ministry on Saturday handed over the Hiran murder case to the NIA. “Sachin Waze is a prime accused in the Hiran murder case. He had played a key role. During the probe, the ATS found that Gaur had provided five SIM cards to API Waze and Shinde for the crime. Shinde used to help Waze in his illegal activities,” the official had said, adding that the arrest of Shinde and Gaur was a major breakthrough in the Hiran case.
The ATS had earlier registered a case under Indian Penal Code sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) against unidentified persons in connection with Hiran’s death.