Hiren was a resident of Ambedkar Nagar and owned the Classic Motors shop in Naupada.(Reuters)
Hiren was a resident of Ambedkar Nagar and owned the Classic Motors shop in Naupada.(Reuters)

Owner of SUV found outside Ambani’s house with explosives dead in Thane

  • Hiren’s body was spotted stuck amid the silt of the creek by a fisherman at 10.30 am on Friday. The police established his identity only late in the afternoon.
By Anamika Gharat
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 03:43 AM IST

Mansukh Hiren, the man who came forward to say the SUV found with some explosives near billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s residence, was a vehicle he had reported stolen on February 18, was found dead in Kalwa creek on Friday morning, hours after his family reported he was missing.

The police have claimed he died by suicide, but the circumstances and the timing of Hiren’s death are curious.

Hiren’s body was spotted stuck amid the silt of the creek by a fisherman at 10.30 am on Friday. The police established his identity only late in the afternoon.

Hiren was a resident of Ambedkar Nagar and owned the Classic Motors shop in Naupada. On February 26, a SUV he reported missing on February 18 was found with 20 gelatin sticks, and a threatening note addressed to Ambani and his wife. Hiren came forward soon after the incident to confirm that the SUV was his.

He was called for questioning by different agencies since then, claimed his family.

On Friday, leader of the opposition in the Maharashtra assembly, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said it was curious that police officer Sachin Vaze, the first on the scene when the explosives were found, was made in charge of the investigation, and then, days later, removed. He added that the person who filed a stolen SUV complaint had been in touch with Vaze.

Vaze, who is attached to criminal intelligence unit of the Mumbai crime branch, said he was not aware of what Fadnavis said, but clarified that he was not the first person to reach the spot where the SUV was found. He added that he knew Hiren because the latter resided in Thane but clarified that he did not meet Hiren recently.

“I came to know that Hiren has given written complaint to Thane police commissioner and Mumbai police commissioner two or three days ago that some police officers and reporters were allegedly calling him repeatedly and he felt harassed. I don’t know anything more about it,” Vaze added.

The family of Mansukh Hiren refused to accept that he has died by suicide and demanded investigation into his death. His wife, Vimal Hiren, 45, said, “He left home on Thursday evening, informing us that he has got a call from a crime branch official asking to meet him at Ghodbunder Road. He was co-operating with the police and was not stressed over the case. His phone is unreachable since 10.00 am [Friday]. There was no reason for him to take this drastic step. We want an investigation into his death.”

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