In a big development, Republic Media Network has learnt that suspended and arrested Mumbai Police API Sachin Vaze had allegedly attempted to make himself an alibi following the murder of Mansukh Hiren, the owner of the green Scorpio car that had been parked packed with explosive gelatin-sticks outside Mukesh Ambani's Antilia residence on February 25.
As per what the ATS has stated to a court in an effort to get custody of Sachin Vaze, whose original remand with the NIA ends on March 25, Vaze's raid at a bar on the intervening night of Feb 4 & 5 had been no more than a ruse. "Nothing was achieved from the probe done on the Tipsy bar on the intervening night of 4th and 5th March. Such an important unit from the headquarters has no connection with such a raid. Even after nothing was recovered from the raid, a detailed punchnama (Postmortem report) was made. This is suspicious," says the ATS in the document accessed by Republic.
They added, "Sachin Vaze made up all this in order to show that he was not involved anywhere or did not meet Hiren since the time he left the house till his death. Sachin Vaze could be seen getting out of a car outside Tipsy bar at 11:48 pm.
Hiren on the other hand left his residence at 10:32 and is seen going towards the Khopat area of Thane. "
"It is noted that even though Mansukh Hiren had a Honda City and 3 motorcycles, he, as instructed on the call (likely received from suspended cop and alleged Vaze aide Vinayak Shinde under the alias 'Tawde'), he goes by an auto-rickshaw. After a call from his wife at 10:32, no call was made on his number. On 1 SIM card, 4 incoming messages were received. This means around 9 pm Hiren was kidnapped and his phone could have been switched off. Then he could have been killed and after taking off all his valuables & identity cards, watch, etc, Hiren's mouth was covered by handkerchiefs and then thrown in the Mumbra Creek," they further added.
ATS continues, "It could have been so that after the murder, Hiren's phone was taken to Vasai & started for a few minutes so as to mark the location. This was done to misguide. It cannot be denied that Vaze then moved to Tipsy bar in order to misguide the probe & cover up his location. It can be seen that Vaze could be involved in the murder as not a single call was made or received on his phone on the entire day of the murder."
ATS sources have also said that convicted cop Vinayak Shinde himself was allegedly present at the crime scene and was accompanied by some other people. Shinde has confessed that he was the one who called Mansukh while pretending to be Tawde. He had asked Mansukh to come by making an excuse of taking him to the Thane Ghodbunder Road. While in the car, Mansukh's mouth was allegedly covered with a handkerchief until he was unconscious and then his body was thrown away. Mansukh's report has been sent to a lab in Haryana. He is suspected to have died of suffocation. The exact time of his death is still unknown.
The Thane Sessions Court directed the Maharashtra ATS on Wednesday to stop the probe into Mansukh Hiren's death and hand over the case to the NIA. The court's order came on a plea by the Central agency which complained that the ATS is yet to hand over relevant documents despite it taking over the case on March 20. It is pertinent to note that NIA took over the Antilia bomb scare case on March 8 itself and registered an FIR under Sections 120 B, 286, 465, 473 and 506(2) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4(a)(b)(i) of The Explosive Substances Act. After being grilled for nearly 12 hours on March 13, Vaze was arrested by the NIA and remanded to its custody till March 25.
In the Antilia bomb scare probe, the NIA on Wednesday filed an application before a special Mumbai court, seeking to invoke the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in the probe against Vaze and his alleged involvement in the Antilia bomb scare matter. As per sources, the court is set to hear NIA's plea on March 25.