Antilia bomb scare, Hiran murder case: Sunil Mane’s NIA custody extended to May 1
A special court here on Wednesday extended till May 1 National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody of Mumbai police officer Sunil Mane, arrested in connection with the Antilia bomb scare and the subsequent murder of Thane trader Mansukh Hiran.
Mane was arrested on April 23 after he was called for interrogation in connection with the Antilia and Hiren murder cases. He was remanded to NIA custody till Wednesday, when the federal agency sought his custody further.
Claiming that Mane played a role in the conspiracy of Hiran’s murder, the agency said they wanted to confront Mane with certain documents related to vehicles seized and also with call data record related to the case.
On February 25, a Mahindra Scorpio was found abandoned near Antilia, the South Mumbai residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, with 20 loose gelatin sticks and a threatening note, and a case was registered with Gamdevi police station on the same day.
Sachin Vaze was in charge of the case, but was removed after reports emerged of his links with Hiran, who was in possession of the SUV, and had reported it stolen on February 17. Hiran himself was found dead in a creek on March 5. It subsequently emerged that Vaze had borrowed the car in November and returned it in early February.
NIA took over the explosives case on March 8 and the murder case on March 24. Vaze was named the main accused in both and was arrested by NIA on March 13.
The Maharashtra government transferred then police commissioner Param Bir Singh over his management of the case. Singh wrote a letter to the chief minister, alleging that home minister Anil Deshmukh instructed Vaze and some other Mumbai police officers to extort ₹100 crore from bars and restaurants, hookah parlours per month and when no action was forthcoming approached the courts.
The Bombay high court eventually asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the matter, prompting Deshmukh’s resignation. Accordingly, the central agency registered an offence against Deshmukh on April 24 after a preliminary probe.
Meanwhile, Vaze, who is presently in judicial custody, has asked the court to permit him to have a chair and mattresses in prison as he has difficulty in sitting on the floor. He further claimed that he has been suffering from dental issues. The court has asked the prison authority at Taloja jail to provide him necessary medical assistance.