SUV case: Mumbai cop arrested, sent to NIA custody till Mar 25  

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SUV case: Mumbai cop arrested, sent to NIA custody till Mar 25  
Mumbai: Mumbai Police’s Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze — nabbed by the NIA minutes before Saturday midnight in connection with the case involving an abandoned SUV found near the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani — was on Sunday sent to the agency’s custody till March 25.

Arrested after nearly 12 hours of grilling by the NIA team, Vaze underwent the mandatory medical checkup and a Covid-19 test this morning before he was taken to the special NIA court under tight security.

Vaze, 49, has been booked by the NIA in connection with the SUV and he is also being simultaneously probed by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad for the mystery death of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiren – two cases which sparked off a nationwide political furore.

Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that the action in the case involving the planting of a SUV Scorpio with gelatin sticks and the subsequent death of Hiren “would be based on truth”.

“The matter of the gelatin sticks found in a Scorpio vehicle near Ambani’s residence and the Hiren murder cases are being investigated by NIA and ATS. Action will be taken based on the truth that comes out of it,” he said in brief comments this morning.

While the ruling Shiv Sena slammed the Centre’s moves to unilaterally takeover important cases as demoralising for the Mumbai Police, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party launched a fresh attack on the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said Vaze’s arrest is merely the beginning and it is necessary to probe who are the people behind him, supporting him in the government, since the involvement of police officials in crimes will shake the people’s faith in the police.

Suspecting that it is not a small matter, but “a larger plot” in which the truth must come out, he said it is “a serious matter that the person who was the investigating officer has been arrested”.

Leader of Opposition in the Council Pravin Darekar demanded answers from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray since he was seen defending Vaze last week.

Demanding a narco-test on Vaze to unravel the names of the ‘master-conspirators’, BJP city spokesperson Ram Kadam asked whether the MVA government was worried that the policeman’s revelations could create problems for the ruling dispensation.

BJP leader and former MP Kirit Somaiya demanded the sacking of Home Minister Deshmukh and Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh in the wake of Vaze’s arrest.

“The Thackeray government is protecting Vaze. I expected arrest of more members of the Vaze ‘gang’. What discussions did the CP (Singh) hold with Vaze for 3 days,” Somaiya sought to know.

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