Antilia explosives scare case: Dismissed cop Sunil Mane wants to become approver
Dismissed Mumbai police officer Sunil Mane has requested the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court to allow him to become an approver in the Antilia explosives scare and Mansukh Hiran murder case
Dismissed Mumbai police officer Sunil Mane has requested the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court to allow him to become an approver in the Antilia explosives scare and Mansukh Hiran murder case.
The court has directed the agency to file its reply to the plea by March 8.
“After deeply thinking during my incarceration, I have realised my mistakes. Being a police officer, it was my duty to protect the life of citizens of the country. But unfortunately, and unknowingly I have committed some mistakes,” Mane said in his hand-written plea filed on Thursday.
“To repent these mistakes and to give justice to the victim (Hiran) and his family, I have decided to make a full and truthful disclosure of the whole circumstances and facts of the case,” he said, requesting the court to take his outstanding service record into consideration and give him “a chance to repent his mistakes by tendering pardon” under section 307 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The plea further said that in his 26 years’ “outstanding” service, Mane had earned several accolades and around 280 awards and rewards. The application was made voluntarily and even his advocate on record should not be allowed to withdraw it without his written consent, it added.
Mane was arrested by NIA on April 23, 2021, for his alleged role in the murder of Hiran, a car accessories shop owner from Thane.
On February 25, 2021, a Mahindra Scorpio was found abandoned outside Antilia - the south Mumbai residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani - with 20 gelatine sticks kept in a backpack and a note threatening the members of the Ambani family. On March 5, the body of the vehicle owner, Hiran, was found dumped in the creek near Mumbra.
According to NIA, dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze, who at the relevant time headed the Criminal Intelligence Unit of Mumbai police crime branch, had planted the explosives-laden vehicle.
The federal agency claimed that Waze, who knew Hiran long before the incident, and others tried to persuade the trader to take the blame for planting the explosives and assured him that he would come out on bail soon after his arrest. They, however, decided to kill him after he refused to take the blame, it said.
Waze allegedly paid a huge amount of money to former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma to get Hiran killed, NIA claimed, adding that accordingly, Sharma hired four people, who smothered the Thane resident to death in a four-wheeler on Ghodbundar Road.
Mane, according to NIA, was part of the conspiracy hatched by Waze and is accused of calling Hiran on his phone, posing as some other police officer, and asking him to meet him on Ghodbundar Road. When the victim went to meet him, Mane allegedly handed him over to the four killers, the agency said.
Three separate FIRs were registered in connection with the alleged theft of the SUV, planting of the explosives-laden vehicle outside Antilia, and the murder of its owner. Following an order by the Ministry of Home Affairs, NIA took over the probe in all three cases on March 8, 2021.