10 Mar 2021: Mukesh Ambani bomb scare: Facing murder allegations, Mumbai cop transferred
The Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced the transfer of Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze from the Mumbai Crime Branch after the cop was accused of murdering Mansukh Hiren.
Hiren, who owned the vehicle that was found laden with explosives near billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani's residence, was found dead in the Kalwa creek last week.
Hiren's wife has accused Vaze of murder.
Transfer: Vaze transferred till investigation is complete: Maharashtra Home Minister
Addressing the state Legislative Assembly, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said, "Police officer Sachin Vaze will be removed from his current posting in the crime branch till the investigation is not completed."
"I am taking this decision in view of the rising demand from the Opposition. We will take appropriate action against Vaze if he is involved in his death," the Minister added.
Wife's statement: Vaze told Hiren to get arrested, assured bail: Wife
Hiren's wife, Vimla, has accused Vaze of playing a role in his murder. Vaze was the investigative officer in the Ambani bomb scare case until he was replaced by another officer.
Vaze had been using Hiren's car from November 2020 till February 5, Vimla said.
She said Vaze had told her husband to get arrested in the case, assuring he would be bailed out.
Opposition: Opposition demanded Vaze's suspension, arrest
Vaze's transfer comes a day after the Opposition demanded Vaze's suspension and arrest.
The Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Devendra Fadnavis, read parts of Vimla's statement in the House.
He demanded Vaze's arrest in connection with the case.
If not murder, the cop should at least be arrested for the destruction of evidence, said Fadnavis, a former state Chief Minister.
Case: SUV carrying 20 gelatin sticks was parked near Antilia
On February 25, the police found an abandoned Mahindra Scorpio parked near Ambani's 27-story home, Antilia, with 20 gelatin sticks.
An attached letter threatening the Ambanis was recovered.
On March 5, Hiren's body was fished out of the Kalwa creek in Mumbra.
Two days later, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad registered a case of murder, criminal conspiracy, and destruction of evidence against an unknown person.
Background: 'Encounter specialist' Vaze faced 16-year suspension till 2020
Vaze is one of Mumbai's so-called "encounter specialists" who has faced a 16-year suspension for his alleged role in the custodial death of a 27-year-old man, Khwaja Yunus, in 2003.
He was reinstated in June 2020 and moved to the Mumbai Police Crime Branch.
He also started being assigned high-profile cases including the TRP case, and Badshah fake followers case.