Ambani Car Bomb Threat: Mansukh Hiren’s Ola Cab Driver Quizzed; Maharashtra Govt Transfers Sachin Vaze From Crime Branch
The Ola cab driver who dropped off Mansukh Hiren at CST is being quizzed by the investigation agencies.
According to a Times Now report, the Ola driver told the agencies that Mansukh had initially booked the cab to go from Vikroli to Crawford Market, but at the last minute he changed the destination to near a prominent and renowned restaurant in south Mumbai.
It is still a puzzle as to who Hiren met at the restaurant, and that is what the investigative agencies are looking into now. Reportedly, raids have been conducted by the NIA at several locations in Mumbai as well as Thane in connection with the case.
Mumbai ATS is looking into Hiren’s death while the NIA is investigating the bomb threat.
The investigative agencies are also looking into the Innova car in which the two main accused left, as well as the screengrab of a man outside the Ambani residence wearing a PPE kit, purportedly to hide his real identity.
The Ambani bomb threat case has become a battleground for the Maharashtra administration led by Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government and the main opposition party BJP.
BJP leader and former chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis has been criticising the government over the handling of the case. Yesterday, in the House, he read a letter written by Hiren’s wife alleging that Sachin Vaze, Mumbai crime branch officer, killed her husband. He demanded Vaze’s arrest.
Revelations made by Fadnavis charged the atmosphere of the House and led to an adjournment.
Feeling the heat, the Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh today (10 March) announced in the Legislative Council that Sachin Vaze will be removed from the Crime Branch and posted in some other department. “It is being done so that an impartial investigation can be conducted in this case,” he said.
BJP members, reportedly, shouted slogans against the government and amid ruckus, proceedings of the Maharashtra Legislative Council were adjourned till 12 noon. Fadnavis then moved the Motion of Breach of Privilege against Deshmukh following the latter's allegations against him regarding Anvay Naik suicide case.
On 25 February, a green SUV was found about 600 metres away from industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house with 20 gelatin sticks and a hand-written letter.
The letter was addressed to Mukesh and Neeta Ambani and called the planted explosives a 'trailer' and threatened to return later with more preparations to assassinate the whole family.
The green SUV was tracked to one Mansukh Hiren, who was found dead on 5 March after being “missing” for five hours. The police said that it looked like he committed suicide by jumping into Kalwa creek.
Before his death, Hiren, in his statement to the Mumbai police stated that his car had not been in use for over a year, and that he recently drove the car because he wanted to sell it. According to him, the car broke down and he to park it at the Mulund-Airoli Link Road, but when he returned to the spot the next day, the car was not there.
The police had said the vehicle was stolen from Airoli-Mulund Bridge on 18 February.
Fadnavis said that Hiren’s wife has alleged that Sachin Vaze killed her husband. Reading a statement from her, he said that Vaze had advised Hiren to get himself arrested and that he would get him out on bail safely. However, his wife advised him against it and Hiren sought legal help for anticipatory bail.
Fadnavis further said that the last known location of Mansukh Hiren's phone was near Shiv Sena leader Dhananjay Gawde's office. Both Gawde and Vaze are purportedly close as both were named in an extortion case in 2017.
"Why he is not being arrested under Section 201 of IPC (destroying evidence)? Who is defending him?", he asked in the assembly. Fadnavis demanded that if not murder, Vaze should at least be arrested for destruction of evidence and alleged if he was not arrested, someone was protecting Vaze.
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