The Raigad police team that arrived at Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami’s Mumbai residence on Wednesday morning was accompanied, as is the practice with outstation teams, by a local police team from the N M Joshi Marg police station. But unusually, the teams were accompanied by a Mumbai Police Crime Branch officer, who is investigating the Television Rating Points (TRP) case against the Republic Media Network.
Assistant Inspector Sachin Vaze, who accompanied the Raigad police and NM Joshi Marg police teams to Goswami’s residence, was reinstated by the Mumbai Police only in June, 16 years after his suspension following the custodial death of Khwaja Yunus.
He was reinstated on the ground that with several policemen down with Covid-19, there was a shortage of hands. Vaze was among the many police personnel reinstated in this manner.
Goswami named Vaze as one of the policemen who assaulted him when they walked into his house. “Pradip Patil, Sachin Vaze and several other policemen surrounded me, they held me by the scruff of my neck and pushed me. I have been assaulted,” he said outside a Alibaug court.
Vaze has had a chequered career in the Mumbai Police. As an “encounter specialist”, he was known as one of the few crackshots in the force. Along with three constables, he is facing trial on charges of murder and destruction of evidence in the 2003 Khwaja Yunus custodial death case. While Vaze was suspended in 2004, he had quit the force in 2007 but his resignation was not accepted.
During the 16 years he was under suspension, he had joined the Shiv Sena. After his reinstatement, he was initially posted to the Local Arms branch but within a day, was shifted to the high-profile Crime Branch. He was involved in investigating the fake social media followers’ scam, in which rapper Badshah’s statement was recorded. Known to be well-versed with technology, he is now the face of the TRP scam.
Vaze was unavailable for comment on why he accompanied the police teams to arrest Goswami.
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