Waze's 'political bosses' must be found out: Fadnavis

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New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis Wednesday demanded that central investigation agency NIA take over the case of businessman Mansukh Hiran's mysterious death, linked to the finding of an explosive-laden SUV outside Mukesh Ambani's house, and said 'political bosses' of arrested Mumbai cop Sachin Waze must be found out.

Hours after the state government transferred Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh as it faced flak over its handling of the case, BJP leader Fadnavis said Singh and Waze are 'small people', and the matter can't be solved by blaming them alone.

'Who are behind this? That should be probed. Political bosses who operated Waze will have to be found out,' he told a press conference here, suspecting that Hiran was murdered and alleging that Waze had close and deep links with many leaders of Shiv Sena, a party the suspended cop had joined once.

When he headed the state government between 2014-1019, there was pressure on him in 2018 from Shiv Sena, a BJP ally at that time, to reinstate Waze but he turned it down due to the serious charges against him, Fadnavis said.

Several Sena leaders including Thackeray had approached me in this regard, he said.

The entire episode, which has sunk more and more into mystery following the security scare outside India's richest businessman's residence and then Hiran's death, reminds him of the 90s when people had seen criminalisation of politics in Mumbai, Fadnavis said. Hiran owned the SUV found with gelatin sticks.

There was larger design behind the security scare, he said, noting that some encounter-specialists were said to run 'extortion-racket' in Maharashtra earlier.

Waze, referred as an encounter specialist, was suspended in 2004 and was controversially reinstated by Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray.

'A vehicle with gelatin sticks is planted by police department and then Mansukh Hiran, who is the most important link, is murdered. This never happened in the history of Mumbai and Maharashtra,' Fadnavis said.

Stressing on Waze's deep links with Sena leaders, the BJP leader said he was given the charge of important department of crime intelligence unit despite being a junior officer.

Waze is at the focus of a probe by the National Investigating Agency in a case related to the recovery of an SUV with explosives near Ambani's house in Mumbai.

The case of Hiran's mysterious death is being probed by Mumbai police. PTI KR ZMN