Thane court asks Maha ATS to stop Mansukh Hiran death probe

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Mumbai, Mar 24 (PTI) A Thane courton Wednesday directed the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) to stop its investigation into the death of businessmanMansukh Hiran and hand over case records to the NIA immediately.

Hiran was found dead in a creek in Thane on March 5, days after he claimed that the Scorpio with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house in south Mumbai had been stolen from his possession.

The Union home ministry handed over the probe into the Hiran case to the National Investigation Agency on March 20.

But the ATS continued its probe and claimed to have cracked the case two days ago.

The NIA then approached the Thane chief judicial magistrate seeking a direction to the ATS to hand over the case, the central agency's lawyer said.

The magistrate, after hearing submissions from both the agencies, directed that the ATS' investigating officer shall not proceed with the probe, and shall hand over all relevant documents and records to the NIA without any delay.

The NIA is already probing the case related to the recovery of the explosives-laden SUV and has arrested suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Waze of Mumbai police in that case.

Hiran's wife had alleged that Waze was using the same SUV for some time, and he played a role in her husband's death.

The ATS earlier this week had claimed that Waze was the prime accused in Hiran murder case, and it would seek his custody after the NIA remand expired on Thursday. The ATS has arrested suspended policeman Vinayak Shinde and cricket bookie Naresh Gaur in the case. PTI AVI KRK KRK