Hiran death case: Maha ATS pins blame on ‘Gang of Vaze-pur’

Mumbai, March 21 (IANS) In a significant achievement, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Sunday claimed to have 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 Thane-based SUV Scorpio of Hiran – found dead in Thane Creek on March 5 – with 20 gelatin sticks and a threat note was parked and abandoned near Antilia, the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani on February 25, sparking off a nationwide furore.
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.
Elaborating on the matter, 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-suspended Assistant Police Inspector (API) Sachin Vaze, currently in the custody of 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 illegal 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 Maha Vikas Aghadi 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 inter-linked SUV planting matter – followed by the former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh’s ‘letter-bomb’, alleging that Vaze was directed by Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to collect Rs 100 crore, that hit the national headlines on Saturday evening.
While the Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis, Maha Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi President Prakash Ambedkar and others bay for Deshmukh’s scalp, state Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant has warned the MVA “not to succumb” to the BJP’s pressures.

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