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Hiran death case: Maharashtra ATS says it has cracked the mystery
Mumbai, March 21, 2021
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Sunday claimed it had cracked the mysterious death of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran with the arrest of a convicted former policeman and a cricket bookie.
The two were identified as Mumbai Police ex-cop Vinayak B. Shinde, 51, and cricket bookie Naresh R. Gor, 31, nabbed as part of the investigations into the death of Hiran.
The SUV Scorpio of Hiran was found with 20 gelatin sticks and a threat note, parked and abandoned near Antilia, the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani on February 25. Hiran was found dead in Thane Creek on March 5.
The duo was produced before a Thane Court and remanded to ATS custody till March 30, said an official.
"The puzzle of the ultra-sensitive Hiran murder case has been solved... This was amongst the most challenging cases in my entire career," DIG, ATS, Shivdeep Wamanrao Lande said in a social media post this evening.
He also saluted all his colleagues in the ATS for working day and night to ensure the case was resolved within the legal parameters.
An ATS official said that bookie Gor had allegedly procured 5 mobile SIM cards for the use of Shinde and the other prime accused, arrested and suspended Assistant Police Inspector (API) Sachin Vaze, currently in the custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), for the twin crimes.
Shinde was dismissed from service after being convicted in the November 2006 Versova fake encounter case of Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiya, said to be a close aide of the jailed mafia don, Rajendra S. Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan.
Sentenced to life imprisonment, he was out on parole since May 2020 when he came in contact with Vaze and reportedly helped out in his activities.
After the nabbing of the Shinde-Gor duo, the ATS is now probing the involvement of others including the unidentified masterminds behind the two connected sensational crimes, which triggered a huge political tsunami in Maharashtra with the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coming under fire from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.
The developments come close on the heels of the Centre transferring the Hiran death case to the NIA -- which is also probing the SUV case. It also comes a day after former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh's letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleging that Vaze was directed by Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to collect Rs 100 crore every month.
While the Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, Maha Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi President Prakash Ambedkar and others are baying for Deshmukh's scalp, state Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant has warned the MVA "not to succumb" to the BJP's pressures.