In the latest development, DIG Maharashtra ATS Shivdeep Lande has claimed that the Mansukh Hiren death case has been solved.
ATS officer Shivdeep Lande in a post on Facebook made the claim that the case has been solved. He wrote, "The highly sensitive Mansukh Hiren murder case has been resolved. I heartily salute all my ATS Police Force colleagues who have done justice in this case in a full manner by working day and night for the last several days. This case was one of the most complex cases of my police career to date."
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Earlier in the day, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested two persons on Sunday in connection with the Mansukh Hiren death case. According to ATS, the accused Naresh who is a cricket bookie had provided five fake sim cards to Sachin Vaze and suspended Mumbai Police constable Vinayak Shinde.
Shinde was sentenced to life imprisonment in connection with the Lakhanbhaiya encounter case. After being released on parole in 2020,
He has been in touch with Sachin Vaze and helped him in his work. Maharashtra ATS said that the two accused, arrested in connection with Mansukh Hiren death case, were presented in the court on Sunday and have been directed to stay in ATS custody till March 30.
On being asked how they were still investigating the case when the Union Home Ministry had ordered the case to be transferred to the NIA, ATS officials said they are yet to receive formal orders of the transfer. “All case details will be transferred to the NIA by Tuesday,” an ATS official said.
An ATS source told The Indian Express that both Gor and Shinde have been arrested on technical evidence found in the case. Gor, a Kutch resident, procured eight SIM cards illegally from Gujarat and passed them on to Shinde. Shinde acted as a mediator and handed over the SIM cards to Vaze.
The SIM cards were handed over to Vaze in the first week of February, said a police officer. Sources revealed that Hiran’s killers had called posing as Tawde, using one of the eight seized SIM cards.
“Shinde had been dismissed from the force as he was a convict in the Lakhan Bhaiyya encounter case. He was serving life imprisonment. He came out on parole in May 2020 due to the pandemic,” an officer said.
The ATS suspects that Shinde, a close aide of Vaze, is also involved in planting gelatin sticks near Antilia. “We are trying to identify his role,” said an investigator. An officer said they have seized three mobile phones and eight SIM cards from Shinde and Gor.
While seeking their custody, the ATS in its remand application said they want to ascertain the reason behind Hiran’s murder. The ATS also said they need evidence to secure a link between the car theft, explosives and the murder.
“We need to recover the vehicle they used to kill Hiran. We also have to seize the phones that were used to contact him,” said the remand application.
Who is Mansukh Hiran and what had happed?
On March 5, Hiran,46, an owner of an interior car decor shop in Thane, was found dead early at Kalwa creek near Reti Bunder. His stolen Scorpio car was found loaded with gelatin sticks outside businessman Mukesh Ambani’s residence in Antilia last month.
During the investigation, Hiran had told the police that the vehicle had been stolen on February 17 from Vikhroli where he had parked it after the steering wheel of the vehicle jammed.
The ATS said they want to recover Hiran’s phone, his gold belongings, including a ring, a chain, which he was wearing before his death but were not found along with his body.