Aurangabad man claims number plate recovered by NIA belongs to his vehicle

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Mumbai, Mar 30 (PTI) A resident of Aurangabad in Maharashtra has claimed one of the number plates recovered by the NIA from the Mithi river in Mumbai belonged to his van which was stolen last year, a police official said on Tuesday.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing the cases of the recovery of an explosives-laden SUV found outside the south Mumbai residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani last month and subsequent murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran, the purported owner of that vehicle.

The probe agency on Sunday took suspended Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze to the Mithi river here and recovered two digital video recorders (DVRs), two CPUs, a laptop, two hard disks, two number plates and a printer with the help of divers.

Vijay Nade, an Aurangabad resident who works as clerk with the social justice department in Jalna, approached the City Chowk police station in Aurangabad on Monday after he started getting calls from journalists about the number plate of his vehicle, the police official said.

One of the number plates, which was dumped into the river, belonged to Nade's vehicle, he said.

His vehicle was stolen from Aurangabad in November last year and he had lodged a case of theft at the City Chowk police station there, the official said.

'There is an FIR of vehicle theft on November 17 last year. So far, there is no communication from the probe agency (NIA), but we will provide all assistance to them in the case,' Aurangabad City Chowk police station's senior inspector Sambhaji Powar said.

Nade told PTI on Tuesday he had lodged a complaint of van theft and has CCTV footage of that incident.

'I had submitted all the documents and related evidence to police, but they were not able to trace the vehicle. Suddenly, on Monday, I got information from journalists about the number plate of my vehicle recovered from the Mithi river,' he said.

It is suspected that Assistant Police Inspector Riyazuddin Kaazi had told the NIA during his interrogation that these evidences were thrown into the Mithi river.

Kaazi, who is close to Waze, was questioned by the NIA multiple times in recent past.

It was Kaazi who allegedly took away the DVR from Waze's housing society on the latter's instructions.

The body of Hiran, a resident of Thane, was found in Mumbra creek on March 5. PTI DC GK GK