Updated: March 10, 2021 1:05:47 am
Vimla Hiren, the wife of the Mansukh Hiren, whose body was found in the Kalwa creek on Friday, has alleged in her statement before ATS that assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze had been using the Scorpio car, parked outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence with exposives, from November 2020 till February 5. She further alleged that Vaze had told her husband to get arrested in the case and assured him that he will be bailed out in a few days.
In her statement, she said she suspects Vaze was involved in his murder. The Indian Express has a copy of the FIR registered by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) that contains Vimla’s statement.
Hiren’s stolen Scorpio with gelatin sticks was found outside Antilia last month. During the investigation, Hiren had told the police that the vehicle had been stolen on Feb 17 from Vikhroli where he had parked it after the steering wheel of the vehicle jammed.
Vaze was the investigating officer of the case before he was replaced by ACP Nitin Alakhnure. On March 6, Hiren’s body was fished out from Kalwa creek near Reti Bunder after he was reported missing by his family a few hours earlier. The case has now been taken over by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) while the ATS registered a murder case in connection with Hiren’s death
In her statement to ATS, Vimla said that Vaze was known to her husband who allowed him to use the car.
She said that after the Scorpio got stolen from Vikhroli on February 17 and subsequently used on February 25 for the terror scare outside the Ambani residence, police officials started visiting their house for interrogation. She said that on February 26, 27 and 28, he was with Vaze who was investigating the case.
“On March 2, he told me that he had gone to Mumbai with Vaze and on the instructions of Vaze they went to one advocate Giri to file a complaint letter alleging that the police and media were harassing him and sent it to Maharashtra CM, Home Minister and Commissioners of Mumbai and Thane,” Vimla said.
She added, “ When I asked Hiren if he had been given trouble by the police, he replied in the negative. Even in the house he never looked under any kind of stress and was his usual jovial self.” She added that on March 3, when her husband came home, he told me that Vaze had been telling him to get arrested in the terror scare case and that within two-three days Vaze will get him out on bail.
“I told him that there is no need for you to get arrested. We should seek advice from someone and then decide. He appeared tense at that point,” she said. Hiren then used Vimla’s mobile to call up his brother’s wife and spoke to his brother Vinod. He told the brother to find out about anticipatory bail from a lawyer. Vinod later told Vimla that the lawyer had said that since he was not an accused in the case at that point, there was no need for an ABA and that even if they filed it, the court would not accept it, Vimla said in her statement to ATS.
On March 4 night, Hiren left home at night saying he was going to meet one ‘inspector Tawde from Kandivali police station’. When he did not answer calls after 11 pm, her son Meet called up Vaze. “ My husband had sent Vaze’s number to my son and had asked him to call Vaze if there was any problem,” she said. Vaze told her son that Hiren never went to meet any police agency without informing him. He asked how he went to meet an officer without informing him, the wife said in her statement.
The next day the family registered a missing person complaint at the Naupada police station. Within a few hours, Hiren’s body was found under the jurisdiction of the Mumbra police.
In conclusion, Vimla said, “I believe my husband was murdered and I suspect Sachin Vaze was involved in the murder. And hence I request the matter should be investigated thoroughly.”
When contacted about these allegations, Vaze said he was not aware of any allegations by Fadnavis or Vimla Parekh. He did not respond after Parekh’s statement containing the above allegations was sent to him.
Fadnavis seeks Vaze’s arrest
On Tuesday, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis read parts of Vimla’s statement in the state assembly and demanded the arrest of Vaze in connection with the case. Fadnavis also alleged that Hiren’s last location was near the residence of one Dhananjay Gawde, who had been booked along with Vaze in an extortion case in 2017.
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. It led to the House being adjourned for short durations on four occasions on Tuesday. While Vaze did not respond to the allegations saying he wasn’t aware about them, Gawde told media persons that he did not know Vaze.
Fadnavis”s comments in the Maharashtra Assembly led to an uproar in the House, with the Shiv Sena raising the issue of the alleged suicide of Dadra and Nagar Haveli Lok Sabha member Mohan Delkar. The accusations between the opposition and the treasury benches led to the house being adjourned for shirt durations a total of four times.
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