New Delhi/ Mumbai:
The National Investigation Agency is set to take over the death case of Mansukh Hiran – linked to Mukesh Ambani security scare – days after former Maharashtra chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had made the demand amid a political row.
Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran was found dead on March 5 in a creek days after his SUV – laden with explosives – was seen abandoned near Antilia, the Mumbai home of India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani.
His Mahindra Scorpio SUV was stolen on February 17, investigators have revealed; and the car was found on the city’s Carmichael Road, near the Ambani residence. Mr Hiran’s wife, after his death, had alleged the involvement of a Mumbai cop, Sachin Waze, who has now been suspended.
He was arrested on March 13 by the NIA and is still in the central agency’s custody.
Today, officials said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has handed over the death probe – so far being handled by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) – to the central investigation agency.
Invoking Section 8 of the NIA Act, the Home Ministry issued order directing NIA to take up the Mansukh Hiran death case. Under Section 8 of the NIA Act, the probe agency has “power to investigate connected offences”. “While investigating any Scheduled Offence, the Agency may also investigate any other offence which the accused is alleged to have committed if the offence is connected with the Scheduled Offences,” as per the section.
Yesterday, Mr Waze, as part of the investigation in security scare, was taken to the spot outside Antilia where the car with explosives was found to reconstruct the sequence of events, sources said.
Sources have also suggested that Mr Waze met Mansukh Hiran on the same day his car was stolen. Mr Waze is said to have borrowed the same SUV for around four months from Mr Hiran, till he returned it on February 5.
The security scare probe and the death case have led to a massive political row in Maharashtra with the BJP leaders blaming Uddhav Thackeray government for lapses. The Chief Minister, however, has dismissed the charges.