INDIA.Mumbai: In a breakthrough, two persons including a suspended police constable and a cricket bookie, were arrested by the Maharashtra ATS in connection with the suspicious death of automobile dealer Mansukh Hiran in Thane in March 05.
The arrested accused have been identified as suspended police constable Vinayak Shinde (55) and the cricket bookie Naresh Maniklal Gaur (31). They were remanded to ATS custody till March 30 by the Thane sessions court on Sunday.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) Shivdeep Lande in a Facebook post on Sunday, said, “The riddle of the very sensitive Mansukh Hiran murder has been solved. I heartily salute all my ATS police force colleagues who worked day and night to solve this case legally. This case has been one of the most complex cases of my police career”. In a message to the “Transcontinental Times”, Lande confirmed the arrest of the accused.
Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze already arrested by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Ambani bomb scare case, had played a key role in the crime and now has emerged as the prime accused in the Mansukh Hiran death case.
Vinayak Shinde, an accused in encounter case of slain gangster Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiya, is at present on parole. Lakhan Bhaiya was killed in a fake encounter on November 11, 2006, near Nana-Nani Park in Versova at Andheri West in northwest Mumbai. The Mumbai sessions court on July 12, 2013, awarded a life sentence to 21 people, including 13 MumbaiPolice personnel. Three policemen were convicted of murder while ten of aiding and abetting the encounter.
During the probe, the ATS found that Gaur had provided five SIM cards to Vaze and Shinde for the crime. Shinde used to help Vaze in his illegal activities. The ATS was investigating if more people were involved in the case and what role they played, ATS officer said and added that the ATS is probing who was the main conspirator in the Hiran murder case. The ATS has so far interrogated several people, including police officials and the family members of the deceased.
The ATS has sent samples of diatom in the bone marrow of Hiran to the Haryana Forensic Science Laboratory, Madhuban. According to reports, the water was found in the lungs of Hiran. The diatom test is the diagnosis of death by drowning. The test entails findings if there are diatoms in the body being tested. The ATS is also in the process of recording the statement of three doctors of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital, Kalwa (in Thane district) who conducted the post mortem of Hiran. The reports related to viscera, blood, and nail clippings are awaited.
Earlier the ATS had registered a case under Indian Penal Code sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of an offense or giving false information to screen offender), 120B (criminal conspiracy), and 34 (common intention) against unidentified persons in connection with Hiran’s death.
The arrest of two suspects came two days after Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Thursday questioned a police inspector from the Mumbai crime branch in the death case of Hiran related to the Antilia bomb scare incident. On Saturday, NIA also took over the probe into Hiran’s death. But by Saturday night Maharashtra ATS cracked the case.
Hiran, an automobile dealer, residing in Thane, was found dead in a creek near Thane on March 05, just a week after a Scorpio with explosives inside was found parked near Mukesh Ambani’s residence, Antilia on February 25. Hiran’s wife Vimal had accused Vaze of involvement in her husband’s suspicious death.
The NIA is already probing the case related to the recovery of a Scorpio SUV, parked near Ambani’s residence ‘Antilia’, with gelatin sticks and has arrested Vaze on March 13.
Deshmukh gets a breather
In the meanwhile, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who was embroiled in controversy after former Police Commissioner (now DG, Home Guards) alleged that Deshmukh wanted police officers to collect Rs 100 crore per month from bars and hotels, has got a breather with NCP leadership maintaining that there was no question of the resigning till such time investigation in the Ambani bomb scare case is complete. While Deshmukh denied the allegations, the CMO maintained that the email through which Singh purportedly sent the letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was not his official email.
Following a three-hour meeting held at NCP president Sharad Pawar’s residence in New Delhi on Sunday, NCP state President and senior Maharashtra Minister, Jayant Patil said there is no need to divert attention from the bomb scare outside Ambani’s residence and the killing of Hiran. Pawar held the meeting with senior leaders Supriya Sule and Praful Patel, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, and Jayant Patil.
The NCP along with the Shiv Sena is part of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, and the home minister belongs to the Sharad Pawar-led party. The allegations levelled by Singh against Deshmukh are serious and require an in-depth probe, Pawar said.
BJP and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena are vociferous in their demand for Deshmukh’s immediate resignation.