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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Explained: Who is Mumbai cop Sunil Mane, arrested in Ambani terror scare case?

Who is Sunil Mane, how is he linked to the Ambani terror scare case and what has NIA investigation in the case so far revealed?

Written by Mohamed Thaver , Edited by Explained Desk | Mumbai |
Updated: April 26, 2021 4:21:06 pm
NIA produce Mumbai Crime branch officer Sunil Mane for his alleged role in Antilia bomb scare and Mansukh Hiran murder case to a Sessions Court in Mumbai, Friday, April 23, 2021. (PTI Photo)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday arrested Mumbai police inspector Sunil Mane in connection with the Ambani terror scare case. Who is Mane, how is he linked to the case and what has NIA investigation in the case so far revealed?

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Who is Sunil Mane, the officer to be arrested in the Ambani terror scare case?

Mane, who was earlier posted with the Mumbai crime branch, was currently a police inspector with the Local Arms unit of the Mumbai police. He had been interrogated a couple of times by the NIA in connection with the Ambani terror scare case before he was arrested on Friday. Mane in the past has faced several internal enquiries including one in a case where allegations were made against him for seeking a bribe by an accused in the case.

What is his role in the current case as per NIA?

According to NIA, Mane was the person who had called up Mansukh Hiran – linked to the Scorpio used in the terror scare case – on March 4 claiming to be “API Tawde”. On the call, Mane called Hiran to Ghodbunder road area of Thane. Hiran went missing after that and later his body was recovered from Mumbra creek. He is also alleged to be present in a crucial meeting on March 3 in the Mumbai police commissioner office, where he along with Sachin Waze was allegedly convincing Hiran to take the blame for the terror scare incident and get arrested. After Hiran did not agree, he is believed to have been killed by the accused. Mane is suspected to also have been present at the spot when Hiran was murdered and thrown into the Mumbra creek, as per the NIA.

How is Mane connected to Waze?

Mane was known to be good friends with Waze and the two officers worked in close coordination with each other before Mane was moved out of the Mumbai crime branch.

So far, how many people have been arrested in the case?

Five persons including three serving police officers have so far been arrested by the NIA. Apart from Waze and Mane, API Riyazuddin Kazi who was posted in the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) with Waze was also arrested. As per NIA, a few more arrests are likely in the case including some serving and retired policemen.

What has the NIA unearthed in the investigation so far?

Prime facie, the NIA investigation has found that as per the original plan by Waze, two men having criminal records were to drive an Eeco vehicle with explosives to the Ambani residence where Waze along with others would gun them down.

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However, when Waze got busy investigating some high-profile cases, the plan was delayed. Eventually, Waze along with Kazi and others themselves drove the Scorpio vehicle that was tailed by an Innova, kept gelatin sticks in it and parked it outside the Ambani residence. NIA says that Waze claimed he wanted to gain popularity by ‘solving the case’ and hence this was planned. However, the NIA believes there is more to this than just personal glory.

NIA also found that Mansukh Hiran whose Scorpio was kept outside the Ambani residence, was murdered after he refused to take the blame and get arrested. Waze and others feared that he will spill the beans and hence decided to murder him, says NIA.

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