NIA arrests former Mumbai Police officer Pradeep Sharma in Antilia bomb scare case
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday arrested former Mumbai Police officer Pradeep Sharma in connection with the Antilia bomb scare case after an early morning raid at his residence. NIA officials said Sharma, who was also questioned earlier in the day, had a role to play in the conspiracy.
During the raid, which lasted for almost four hours between 6.45am and 10.45am, NIA officials seized a printer, a computer and a laptop from Pradeep Sharma's residence. As many as seven to eight personnel from the agency, including superintendent of police Vikram Khalate, were present during the raid. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was also deployed at the former policeman's residence in Andheri, Mumbai.
"The NIA also conducted a raid at his residence located in JB Nagar in Mumbai's Andheri (West) around 6am and the operation continued for several hours. The officials recovered some incriminating documents from his house," news agency PTI quoted an NIA official as saying, earlier in the day.
NIA arrested two men, Santosh Shelar and Anand Jadhav, considered to be close to Sharma, from the Kurar village in Malad on June 11, according to the Mumbai Police. They were arrested regarding the Antilia bomb scare and the subsequent death of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran.
Prior to the arrest of Sharma, NIA arrested four other police officers in the case, including Sachin Vaze, Riyazuddin Kazi, Sunil Mane and former police constable Vinayak Shinde.
On Wednesday, NIA also sought the permission of a special court in Mumbai to extend the custody of police inspector Sunil Mane, who was arrested earlier on April 23, in the case. NIA wanted an extension of the custody to confront Mane with Shelar and Jadhav.
An abandoned SUV laden with gelatin sticks and a threat note was found near Antilia, residence of the billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani, in Mumbai on February 25. Following this, a case was registered at the Gamdevi Police Station regarding the abandoned vehicle.
Mansukh Hiran, the owner of the SUV, was found dead near Mumbra, on March 5. Hiran reported the vehicle stolen on February 17, 2021.