In an explosive turn of events in the Vazegate scandal, Republic Media Network on Monday afternoon accessed an exclusive transcript of a phone recording which was handed over to Maharashtra ATS as evidence in the Mansukh Hiren alleged murder case. The tape transcript that has been accessed contains a conversation between Mansukh Hiren and his brother Vinod on February 27, a day after Hiren's interrogation by the Police in the Antilia case. In the tape, Republic TV learnt that Mansukh had mentioned Sachin Vaze's name during his conversation with his brother, and revealed his instructions.
Here is the transcript of the call between Mansukh Hiren and his brother Vinod:
Vinod: Did you sleep? What happened?
Mansukh: Now we don't have to go for any statement. Everything is done.
Vinod: What did you write in the statement? Did you mention that Vaze was using the Scorpio?
Mansukh: No, Did not mention that.
Vinod: Why not?
Mansukh: Because Sachin Vaze had asked me not to mention anywhere that he was using the Scorpio.
The tape transcript in question makes clear that Mansukh Hiren was concealing information at the behest of Sachin Vaze just two days after the Scorpio car in question was discovered parked near the Ambani residence packed with Gelatin sticks.
Mansukh Hiren was found dead at the Kalwa creek on March 5, with the discovery of his body culminating in the arrest of Sachin Vaze upon NIA being handed the Antilia case. Hiren's wife had claimed that Sachin Vaze had the car in his possession since at least November, and strongly refuted the suicide theory to do with Hiren's death. Visuals also showed Sachin Vaze personally driving Mansukh Hiren to the Mumbai CP's premises in a high-end car (now seized by NIA) on February 26.
On Sunday, the Maharashtra ATS, which was probing the Mansukh case before it was handed over to the NIA on the MHA's approval, claimed to have solved the matter with the arrest of two persons - a bookie Naresh Dhare and a suspended cop Vinayak Shinde. As per sources, the ATS believes Dhare had arranged SIM-cards from Gujarat for Sachin Vaze and it was from one of these SIM-cards that Mansukh Hiren had last been called up before his death. Shinde, who is a convict on parole in the 2006 Lakhan Bhaiya encounter case, had allegedly met Sachin Vaze just a day before Mansukh Hiren's death.
Subsequent to the ATS announcing it had solved the case on Sunday, the BJP, via MLA Atul Bhatkalkar, has questioned the agency's claims.
"It is very bizarre that the ATS has already declared the culprit in the Mansukh Hiren murder case right before NIA was about to officially take over the case. It is even more strange that the ATS suddenly declared its result via a social media post without giving any details on whether the culprit was himself involved in the crime or whether he did it at the behest of Sachin Vaze," said Bhatkalkar in a video message.
"It seems like there may be a plot to save the real political masters in the murder case by pinning the blame on Vaze alone. The NIA should enquire this so-called revelation by the ATS from this angle also," he added.