Hiran murder: ATS takes accused to crime spot, detains man in Gujarat

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(Eds: Updating with probe details) Mumbai, Mar 22 (PTI) The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Monday took an acused arrested in the Mansukh Hiran murder case to the creek where his body was found, and also detained a person from Gujarat who had provided them SIM cards, officials said.

The ATS last week arrested suspended policeman Vinayak Shinde and cricket bookie Naresh Gaur in the case. The SUV with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house here had been allegedly stolen from Hiran's possession.

According to the ATS, Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze, now suspended and in custody of the NIA, has emerged as the prime accused in the Hiran case.

'Shinde was taken to Retibunder area near Mumbra creek where Hiran's body was found (on March 5),' an ATS official said.

'Also, our team traveled to Ahmedabad and detained a man from whom the accused had got SIM cards for use in the crime and also seized some of the cards,' he added.

On Sunday, ATS DIG Shivdeep Lande had posted a message on Facebook stating that the Hiran murder case had been cracked.

Shinde was convicted in the 2006 Lakhan Bhaiya fake encounter case and came out of jail on furlough last year. He was allegedly in touch with Waze, who himself was once known as `encounter specialist' officer, since then.

Apparently it was Shinde who had called Hiran from suburban Kandivali by identifying himself as 'Tawde saheb' on March 4, the day before the Thane-based businessman's body was found in the creek, the ATS official said.

Waze is currently in the custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which is probing the recovery of the vehicle containing gelatin sticks and a threat letter which was found parked near Ambani's multi-storey residence 'Antilia'.

The Union Home Ministry on Saturday handed over the Hiran murder case to the NIA, but the ATS officials, as of Monday, were still sharing details of their own probe.

'Sachin Waze is a prime accused in the Hiran murder case. He had played a key role. During the probe, the ATS found that Gaur had provided five SIM cards to API Waze and Shinde for the crime. Shinde used to help Waze in his illegal activities,' an ATS official had said earlier, claiming that the arrest of Shinde and Gaur was a major breakthrough. PTI ZA NSK KRK KRK