On March 7, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad registered a case against an unknown person based on the complaint filed by Vimla, wife of Mansukh Hiren. The case is registered under section 302 (murder), 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of the offence, or giving false information to screen offender),34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), and 120B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
Earlier, a missing person report was filed at Naupada police station. Later Hiren’s body was found in a creek near Mumbra. Initially, it was believed to be a case of accidental death by suicide at Mumbra police station in Thane, but later it was revealed that handkerchiefs were found stuffed in Hiren’s mouth.
Maharashtra Home Department issued an order to transfer the case related to Hiren’s death to ATS. All related documents were then taken by ATS from the Mumbra police station. The ATS is also investigating the case related to gelatins found outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence, which is connected to Mansukh Hiren, as it was his alleged vehicle in which the gelatins were found.
The investigation officer said in a statement that Hiren was the only witness or lead they had in the car case. He said, “Hiren was the only witness or lead in the car case, and we have lost him too. We are looking for other possible lead.”
Someone had called Hiren posing as investigating officer
As per the family members of Hiren, he had received a call at 8 PM on March 4 from someone who identified himself as Tawde, an investigating officer in the gelatin stick case. His son Meet was with him at the shop when Hiren got the call. He told Meet that he was called to meet the Crime Branch Official from the Kandivali unit at the Ghodbunder area in Thane. He left the shop in an auto-rickshaw.
At around 10:30 PM, his phone was switched off. Hiren’s family filed a missing person report the following morning at Naupada police station. Later his dead body was found in the creek at Thane. His son was called at the spot where he identified the body as Hiren.
It was a case of murder – Hiren’s son
While talking to Indian Express, Vinod, Hiren’s elder son, said it was murder. “He knew swimming well, and he would not end his life by jumping into a creek,” Vinod said. The police said that the body was found with a cloth mask around his mouth, and pieces of cloth were stuffed in his mouth. The doctors who conducted post-mortem at Chhatrapati Shivaji hospital in Kalwa reserved the opinion on the cause of death. They reported that there were no external injuries on the body.
When the case was transferred to ATS, they met the family. They took Meet to the ATS office to register a case under sections of murder, criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence and common intention. An Assistant Commissioner of Police-rank official will lead the case.
How Hiren got linked to Ambani’s bomb scare case
On February 26, police found an abandoned car outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence in which they found gelatin sticks. The police found several fake number plates in the car, one of which was similar to the car used by a security officer at Ambani’s house. Based on the chassis number, police reached out to Mansukh Hiren, who owned the car. In his statement, Hiren told police that on February 17, he had to leave the car on the road as it faced a technical snag, and he was getting late for a meeting. When he returned the next day to pick up his car, it was missing from the spot. He had registered a complaint at Vikhroli police station.
Former CM Devendra Fadnavis had stated in the assembly that the owner of the Scorpio car, which was used to plant gelatin sticks and a threat letter outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence in Mumbai, was in touch with a mobile phone number that is registered in the name of Mumbai Police officer and ‘encounter specialist’ Sachin Vaze.