NEW DELHI: Amid intense opposition pressure on the Maharashtra government, the NIA is likely to take over the probe of Mansukh Hiren death case that is linked to the bomb scare outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence.
The central agency is already investigating the case of explosive-laden SUV being found near Antilia last month and had arrested encounter specialist Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze in this connection.
Since the two cases are interlinked, opposition BJP has been demanding that the Hiren death case should also be handed over to the NIA. Waze, alleged to be involved in both cases, is currently suspended.
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh met NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Delhi on Friday and briefed him about the developments related to the two cases. Deshmukh, whose handling of the entire affair has come under scrutiny, said the police would cooperate with the NIA in the entire case.
“NIA and ATS (Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad) both are probing the case. Whoever is guilty will be punished… Necessary action will be taken by the state government after the NIA completes its probe,” he said.
Two senior NIA officials Inspector General Anil Shukla and Superintendent of Police Vikram Khalate met the new Mumbai police commissioner Hemant Nagrale on Friday afternoon.
Also, a forensic team from Pune reached Mumbai on Friday to investigate the vehicles, shirt, bottles etc. seized by the NIA team.
Meanwhile, a Thane sessions court denied relief to Waze and adjourned his anticipatory bail application filed in connection with Hiren’s death for hearing on March 30.
A special NIA court in Mumbai also rejected his plea to meet his lawyers privately while in NIA custody. The agency told the court that the officer was not cooperating in investigation.
Waze is in NIA custody till March 25. The ATS has also demanded his custody.
As per Waze’s call records and CCTV footage obtained by the ATS, the officer met Hiren twice before the bomb scare incident.
CCTV footage recovered from a spot near CSMT showed that the two had met on February 17, the day Hiren’s SUV was allegedly stolen, an ATS official said.
Waze and Hiren came separately, sat in a Mercedes (which has since been seized by the NIA) for about 10 minutes and then left. The ATS suspects that Hiren handed over the SUV’s keys to Waze during this meeting, sources said.