A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai on Thursday, 17 June, sent former ‘encounter specialist’ of the Mumbai Police and Shiv Sena leader Pradeep Sharma and two other accused to NIA custody till 28 June in connection with the Mansukh Hiren death case, news agency ANI reported.
The NIA had arrested Sharma earlier on Thursday after a raid was conducted at his residence in Mumbai.
The arrest was in connection with the alleged murder of Mansukh Hiren, the purported owner of the SUV that was found laden with explosives outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence in February.
On 25 February, an SUV with 20 gelatin sticks and a threat letter was recovered near Antilia, the home of the Ambanis. On 5 March, Hiren’s body was fished out of the wetlands in Thane Creek.
Sharma, a former senior police inspector and, later, a Shiv Sena activist, had been interrogated by the NIA a few times last April. Last week, the NIA arrested Santosh Atmaram Shelar and Anand Pandurang Jadhav, both from a slum pocket in Kurar village of Malad east, for their roles in the twin cases, reported IANS.
Police sources said that after their custodial interrogation, more details about Sharma emerged and culminated in Thursday’s arrest.
Earlier, the NIA had arrested five others, including former policemen, like Sachin Vaze, Riyazuddin Kazi, Sunil Mane, a convicted ex-cop Vinayak Shinde, and cricket bookie Naresh Gor.
Vaze, who is the prime suspect in the case of explosives being planted outside the Antilia and the alleged murder of Hiren, was arrested on 13 March and was remanded to NIA custody.
Sharma is reported to be close to Vaze and the duo had allegedly met early in March.
(With inputs from ANI and IANS.)
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