Mumbai: In 2011, Sachin Waze, one of Mumbai Police’s notorious sharpshooters who briefly joined the Shiv Sena, said in an interview that every one of his victims deserved to go, and he didn’t do it for money but for recognition.
“In my blood, I am a policeman. I didn’t do it for money. It was for fame, recognition, and to serve the public,” Waze told The Guardian, seven years after he was suspended from the force for the alleged custodial killing of Ghatkopar bomb blast suspect Khwaja Yunus.
Nine years after the interview, Waze, who is known to have killed 63 people in his chequered career, is back in action, firmly under the spotlight and ensuring that he is getting the fame that he coveted.
The assistant police inspector has been investigating one of Mumbai Police’s most high-profile and politically sensitive showpiece cases — the alleged rigging of Television Rating Points (TRP) involving the Arnab Goswami-founded Republic TV. Moreover, on Wednesday, Waze was also part of the team that went to Goswami’s Worli residence to arrest him in connection with a 2018 case of interior designer Anvay Naik’s suicide.
Also read: In Arnab Goswami’s arrest, the emergence of Uddhav 2.0
An encounter specialist and a Shiv Sena man
Waze, a 1990-batch officer of the state cadre, belonged to a league of policemen who Time magazine had once referred to as “Mumbai’s Dirty Harries”.
These “Dirty Harries” included names such as Pradeep Sharma, Daya Nayak, Ravindra Angre, Praful Bhosale and Vijay Salaskar among others, had become cult figures in the late 1990s. These encounter specialists were born around that time the then Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance was in power and incidents of threat calls and extortion calls to Mumbai’s rich and elite — builders, Bollywood actors and businessmen —were on the rise.
The current Mumbai Police Commissioner, Param Bir Singh, was a deputy commissioner of police (DCP) in Mumbai in the 1990s, when the so-called underworld was the most active in the city, led by the likes of Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, Arun Gawli and Rajendra Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan.
Encounter specialists such as Vijay Salaskar, who died in the 2008 terror attack, and Praful Bhosale, worked directly under Singh, who also worked with sharpshooters such as Pradeep Sharma, known to be Waze’s mentor.
“Shiv Sena President Bal Thackeray always backed this brand of encounter specialists and was always vocal about it,” a retired senior police officer said. “These officers grew under the Shiv Sena government.”
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.
A Shiv Sena leader who joined the party around the same time as Waze told ThePrint, “Sachin Waze was formally a Shiv Sena member but he was never seen for any of the party’s programmes or events. He was hardly active in the party. He never formally left, but just went into the shadows.”
Reinstated under Param Bir Singh
In June this year, a review committee that Singh headed approved Waze’s reinstatement into the force and a day later, he was posted to the Mumbai Police Crime Branch.
Waze was among 18 suspended policemen, including the three constables facing trial in the Khwaja Yunus case, who the committee reinstated, citing an acute shortage of policemen as several had tested Covid positive. He is also the third such encounter specialist, after Daya Nayak and Pradeep Sharma, to have found his way back into the force.
A former Mumbai Commissioner of Police told ThePrint, “For some reason, it appears that the appointing authority did not take a decision on Waze’s resignation, and technically, if a resignation hasn’t been accepted, a person can be brought back. Waze has the same political leaning as the current state government and seems to be a favourite of the government.”
He added there are precedents, including one of an officer of the director general rank.
In the 16 years that he was suspended, Waze stayed in the news, writing books and contributing to the research of other well known authors such as Hussain Zaidi, Jason Burke and Adrian Levy.
He has himself authored books such as Jinkun Harleli Kadhai in Marathi detailing the 26/11 Mumbai attacks; Sheena Bora – the murder that shook India on the 2012 Sheena Bora murder case; and The Scout: The Definitive Account of David Headley and the Mumbai Attacks.
Also read: The 6 cases filed against Arnab Goswami & Republic TV in Maharashtra since 2018
Credibility of this article is lost. I do not know what kind of vested interest the author of this article might have got to publish such ridiculous article without any ground work. The so-called HERO of this article is now inside Taloja Jail and the the journalist who was framed very wrongly is moving freely (as he must). Anyway, a simple way to come out of such arguments can be – LET THE LAW TAKE ITS OWN COURSE. Yes, Let it.
But, why is the so-called journalist “MANASI PHADAKE” is writing such article without any ground work? Was it not known to her that Vaze was suspended for years for very serious charges. Was it not known to her that this Vaze was an active member of SS.
By publishing such article, the author has not only degraded herself, but also the profession of Journalism.
The first, foremost and primary rule of Journalism is – CHECK THE FACTS.
Print has miserably failed in doing so in this article. Expect better and fact-checked articles from Manasi in future.
Let the process of law be followed. No one has a right to interfere in that. Arnab is not a Journalist in true sense but a disguised politician. If he is responsible for the suicide of people, he has to be punished.
Lol. If Arnab is not journalist in true sense then I don’t understand how the cop who have encountered so many people without trial including custodial death of an innocent software engineer qualifies to be law abiding officer. Your word, same as this article writers (which boasts humanization of criminals and dehumanization of innocents), has now turned against itself.
My view is simple how come party member serve as a police
So Sonia Sena is using convicted thugs giving them police uniforms to suppress press freedom?Goondas rule official in maha?Don’t go to maha for any reason.
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