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Court transfers Mansukh Hiran murder probe to National Investigation Agency

A day after the NIA said that the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has not transferred papers of the Mansukh Hiran murder case, a court in Thane on Wednesday directed the state agency to not proceed with the probe

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday added sections under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze for his alleged role in the Antilia bomb threat case (PTI)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday added sections under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze for his alleged role in the Antilia bomb threat case. The agency added charges under UAPA pertaining to punishment for a terrorist act and criminal conspiracy.

In a related development, a day after the NIA said that the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has not transferred papers of the Mansukh Hiran murder case, a court in Thane on Wednesday directed the state agency to not proceed with the probe and transfer all documents and records of the case to the central agency.

The NIA had approached the chief judicial magistrate of Thane on Tuesday seeking transfer of all the court records of the murder case to the special NIA court in Mumbai. Additional solicitor general Anil Singh on Wednesday submitted before the court that the NIA had taken over the Ambani residence bomb threat case from the NIA on March 8 and on Saturday the Ministry of Home Affairs had ordered that the murder case be transferred to the NIA since it is connected with the earlier case.

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The ATS, which has arrested two persons including a dismissed police constable for their alleged role in the murder of Hiran, has claimed to have cracked the case.

The ATS had also sought custody of Waze, who is currently in NIA’s custody in the bomb scare case. The prosecutor representing the ATS submitted to the Thane court that the agency had so far not received any directions from the state government to transfer the case papers to the NIA.

The court said that as per documents before it, the NIA communicated the MHA’s order on transfer of the probe to the Director General of Police on Monday through a letter. The letter has been received by the ATS office. The court said that the DGP also communicated about the letter to the state government on Tuesday.

“In the present circumstances, police officer of ATS… shall not proceed with the investigation in this crime and transmit all relevant documents and records to the concerned police officer of the NIA without any delay,” Chief Judicial Magistrate P P Ingale said relying on the NIA Act. The court also ordered the transfer of all court records in the Hiran case to the special NIA court in Mumbai.

Meanwhile, a team of NIA is looking into Waze’s stay in Trident Hotel at Nariman Point earlier this year. Waze submitted a fake Aadhaar card and booked a room in the hotel for several days. The NIA suspects Waze planned some part of the crime during his stay at the hotel.

When contacted, authorities at Trident Hotel responded through email and refused to give details. Their statement said, “The case is being investigated by National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Anti – Terrorism Squad, Mumbai Police. The investigation is ongoing and we are extending our fullest cooperation.”

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