Mumbai: The explosives-laden Scorpio, which was found abandoned outside the house of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, was in the possession of Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze for the last three months, Vimala Hiren, wife of Mansukh Hiren, the owner of the car, has alleged in her statement to the Mumbai ATS.
Hiren, an auto parts dealer, was found dead, with five to six handkerchiefs stuffed inside his mouth, in Mumbra creek on 5 March after he left his shop to allegedly go and meet a police official in connection with the case.
In her statement to the police (in Marathi), based on which the FIR has been registered, Vimala Hiren has alleged that she has a “strong suspicion” that it was Waze who killed her husband. She has also claimed that Waze had asked Hiren to get himself arrested and told him that he would ensure his bail in a few days. A copy of the FIR is with ThePrint.
Vimala claimed that Hiren had asked her opinion on the matter.
Waze, an Assistant Police Inspector, is currently serving in the Crime Intelligence Unit and was the investigative officer (IO) probing how the explosives-laden Scorpio that had 20 gelatin sticks and a threat-note reached Ambani’s residence Antilia in Mumbai on 25 February. He was, however, replaced by another officer as the IO without any formal explanation.
ThePrint called Waze multiple times and also contacted him through WhatsApp messages, but there was no response till the time of publishing this report.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis Tuesday demanded the arrest of Waze in Hiren’s death under section 102 (destruction of evidence), while addressing the Assembly.
“Sachin Waze should be punished. You are giving him the chance to destroy evidence,” Fadnavis said. “And just because he (Waze) entered a certain political party (referring to the Shiv Sena), he is being saved. How is he even taken in the force? He needs to be first suspended.”
On Monday, the case in connection with the Scorpio with the explosives and the threat note was transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), while the Mumbai ATS is probing the alleged murder of Mansukh Hiren.
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‘Waze a regular client, adviser’
Vimala in her statement has told the police that Waze was a regular client and a friend to Hiren and that he had the controversial Scorpio car since November for his “personal use”.
She told the police that Waze sent the car back to their shop in Thane on 5 February, complaining of a “stiff steering”.
She also stated that after the explosives-laden vehicle was tracked back to Hiren, Waze went with him to the crime branch several times and was the one “advising him”.
According to Vimala’s complaint, on 17 February, Hiren used this car to drive to Mumbai from Thane. After crossing the Mulund toll naka, the car broke down and he parked it there and went to Mumbai using either an Ola or an Uber.
Vimala further stated that on 18 February when Hiren went to the spot, where he had parked the car, it was missing.
“He had a worker from the shop with him. On the same day he lodged a complaint at the Vikhroli police station about the missing car,” she has said in the statement.
According to her statement, on 25 February, when the explosives-laden car was found outside Antilia, a police inspector from the ATS, Salvi, called Hiren to the porch of their housing society in Thane and showed him the photos of the car.
“Salvi showed him the photos of the car found outside Antilia, and Hiren told him that it was our stolen car,” she said in the statement.
She further said that soon after this, Hiren called Waze and, on 26 February, went to the Crime Branch with Waze. “He went to the Crime Branch with Waze and returned home at 10:30 pm with him,” she said in the statement.
She said that on 28 February, Hiren again went with Waze and brought back a copy of his statement bearing Waze’s signature.
Complaint to CM, HM on Waze’s direction
Vimala alleged that on 2 March, Waze asked her husband to write a complaint to the chief minister, home minister and the police commissioners of Thane and Mumbai stating that he was being harassed by police and the media.
She further said that Hiren told her that Waze had wanted him to get arrested, adding that she advised her husband to take someone else’s opinion on the matter.
“The day my husband told me that Waze had told him to get himself arrested in the case and that he would bail him out in 2-3 days, I told him not to get arrested and take advice from someone else,” she said in her statement.
According to Vimala, a night before Hiren went missing, he went to meet a policeman at Ghodbunder Road. She has also claimed that Hiren met Waze that day.
“On 4 March my husband came home at 8:30 pm but told me that he was to go out again. He told me that he had received a call from a policeman from Kandivali named Tawde,” her statement reads. “My husband then said he was going to Ghodbunder road to seek advice from a policeman he knew.
“He took a rickshaw. When he did not return by 11 pm, I called his phone, but it was switched off,” her statement reads. “My husband had told my son to call on Sachin Waze’s phone in case a policeman called him (the son).”
(Edited by Arun Prashanth)
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Letting loose an overzealous cop is a smaller issue compared to the grave issue which no one is answering.
How high caliber explosives were procured in such huge quantities which is sufficient to bring down building to rubbles.
If this not an intelligence failure then evidently some internal conspiracy is at play, as this would have been flagged by security agencies.
Secondly this act has national security implications. If not addressed and punished now future doesn’t bode well.
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