Speaking in the Maharashtra Assembly, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis asked why Vaze was not being arrested under Section 201 of IPC (destroying evidence). "Who is defending him?" he asked.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Sachin Vaze (right).
Mansukh Hiren death case: Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has demanded the immediate arrest of encounter cop Sachin Vaze for his alleged role in the death of Mansukh Hiren, whose stolen Scorpio, with 20 gelatin sticks inside, was found near Mukesh Ambani’s residence in south Mumbai on February 25. Speaking in the Maharashtra Assembly, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis asked why Vaze was not being arrested under Section 201 of IPC (destroying evidence). “Who is defending him?” he asked.
Fadnavis quoted the statement of Mansukh Hiren’s wife, who has expressed suspicion that her husband may have been killed. Vaze was the investigating officer in case of recovery of explosives near Ambani’s house. Quoting Hiren’s wife, the former chief minister said that Vaze was in possession of the suspected vehicle (in which explosives were found) for 4 months. As per the police, Hiren’s vehicle was stolen from Airoli-Mulund Bridge on February 18.
Day after the vehicle, with gelatin sticks, was found near Ambani’s house, Hiren went missing and was later found dead in a creek in Thane on March 5.
Following the suspicious death of Hiren, the Maharashtra ATS began the probe and registered an FIR against unidentified persons under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and 120B (criminal conspiracy). However, days later, the Union Home Ministry ordered the Centre’s counter-terrorist task force, NIA, to take over the case.
On Tuesday, the NIA said that it had taken over the probe and was in process of re-registering the case being investigated by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad and Crime Branch. This prompted an angry reaction from the chief minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray, who said that his government had handed over the case of the vehicle laden with explosives and death of Mansukh Hiran to the ATS. “But the NIA taking over the case shows something was fishy,” Thackeray said. He, however, said that the ATS will continue to probe Hiren’s death.
According to PTI, Hiren had purportedly written a letter on March 2 to Uddhav Thackeray, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and police commissioners of Thane and Mumbai, alleging that he was being harassed by the police and media since his vehicle was found outside Ambani’s house. He had also claimed that despite being a victim, he was treated like an accused, the report said. In the letter, Hiren also claimed that he was being harassed despite not having any knowledge about the culprits, who not only “stole his vehicle but also misused it”.