Mumbai: The Mumbai Police Monday suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze, for the second time in his career, following his arrest by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the recovery of explosives from a car found outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s home on 25 February.
Waze is also part of an inquiry by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) into the death of businessman Mansukh Hiren, who owned the Mahindra Scorpio car that was found outside Ambani’s south Mumbai residence ‘Antilia’. Hiren was found dead in a creek in the Thane district on 5 March.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) S. Chaitanya, the spokesperson for the Mumbai Police, told ThePrint: “Sachin Waze has been put under suspension. I cannot comment on the duration and other details as of now.”
Last week, the Maharashtra government transferred Waze from the Crime Intelligence Unit of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch to the Citizen Facilitation Centre of the Mumbai Police. Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had announced Waze’s transfer in the Legislative Council after BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis, former CM and leader of the opposition in the assembly, raised the issue of Hiren’s suspicious death. He also alleged Waze’s involvement in the case, and sought his arrest.
The NIA arrested Waze late Saturday after over 10 hours of questioning. Waze has been remanded in NIA custody till 25 March. He has been booked under sections 120 (B) for criminal conspiracy, 286 for negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance, 465 for forgery, 473 for making or possessing counterfeit seal, 506(2) for criminal intimidation and Section 4(a)(b)(I) of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.
Waze’s chequered history
Waze, a 1990-batch officer of the state cadre, was known as one of the Mumbai Police’s ace sharpshooters and is said to have killed 63 persons in his chequered career. He belonged to a league of policemen whom Time magazine had once referred to as ‘Mumbai’s Dirty Harries’.
Waze was suspended from the force in 2004 and is facing trial under charges of murder and destruction of evidence in the Khwaja Yunus custodial death case. After repeated attempts to get reinstated, he resigned from the police force in 2007, but his resignation was not accepted.
The following year, Waze formally joined the Shiv Sena at the party’s most significant event of the year — its annual Dussehra rally.
He was brought back to the force in June last year after a review committee headed by Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh approved his reinstatement, along with 17 suspended policemen, citing an acute staff crunch as several policemen had tested positive for Covid-19.
Waze was appointed to the Crime Branch and has been involved in high-profile cases, including the investigation into alleged fudging of Television Rating Points by TV channels including the Arnab Goswami-led Republic TV. Waze was also present at the spot at the time of Goswami’s arrest in connection with the death of interior designer Anvay Naik.
Edited by Shreyas Sharma