Days after giving a clean chit to tainted Mumbai police office Sachin Vaze, a prime accused in the Antilia bomb scare case, as “very honest and capable officer”, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday cast aspersions against the NIA. He said that NIA was working at the behest of the central government. The Shiv Sena leader said that the investigative agencies should focus on dangerous terror activities rather than going after ‘some gelatin sticks’.
Speaking to controversial news anchor Rajdeep Sardesai, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday defended the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and the Mumbai police in the ongoing Anitlia bomb scare case. Responding to Shiv Sena’s alleged links to the terror case, Raut said he could not answer for Sachin Vaze, but only investigative agencies can do it.
Casting aspersions on the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Raut said everyone knew under whom and whose behest the NIA, Enforcement Directorate, CBI work. Questioning the NIA, Raut said, “What has NIA achieved in the last few years. NIA’s job is to break the nexus between terrorists. Tell me, what has NIA done after the Uri terror attack, Pathankot terror attack and Pulwama attacks? Have they submitted any report?”
The Shiv Sena leader claimed that the entire NIA, central government and the opposition parties are after ‘some 20 gelatin sticks’ found in a vehicle. They should focus on other dangerous terror activities around the country, he quipped. Responding to a question by Rajdeep Sardesai about whether this case could tarnish the reputation of the Maharashtra government, Sanjay Raut further said that the “opposition was making a mountain out of a molehill’ in this case and that it would not affect the credibility of the government. He further said that this ‘issue’ was ‘limited to Maharashtra’.
Essentially, Raut attempted to tone down the bomb threat against Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani by claiming that it was just some gelatin sticks that were found outside his residence.
Mistake has been made, it is not a crime to join Shiv Sena: Sanjay Raut
In the interview, Sanjay Raut also admitted that the Mumbai Police mistake has committed a grave mistake in handling the Antilia bomb scare case. However, he said that happened such mistakes will not happen again in the future.
“It is true that something like this should not have happened. A mistake has been made by the police and will not happen again,” Sanjay Raut said.
When asked about the allegations regarding Shiv Sena leaders’ involvement in the Antilia bomb scare case, Sanjay Raut said that no one could deny the fact that police work under the elected government. He further said that the government is responsible for the mistakes made by the administration, and hence the Chief Minister has ordered a reshuffle in the administration, said Sanjay Raut.
As Rajdeep Sardesai questioned the links between Shiv Sena and accused Sachin Vaze, who had joined the party in 2008, Sanjay Raut said it was not a crime to join Shiv Sena and said that anybody can join the party based on their ideology.
“The NIA and ATS are investigating all the allegations against Sachin Vaze. You cannot hang anybody without proper investigation. Sachin Vaze will be punished if he has done any wrong. Is it a crime to be a Shiv Sena member? asked Sanjay Raut when he was confronted about Vaze’s inclusion in the party,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.
Sanjay Raut defends Sachin Vaze, says he is very honest
As NIA arrested Sachin Vaze for his involvement in the Antilia bomb scare case, Sanjay Raut had defended the controversial cop by claiming that Sachin Vaze was a very honest and capable officer.
“He has been arrested in connection with gelatin sticks that were found. One suspicious death also occurred. It’s Mumbai Police’s responsibility to investigate the matter. No central team was needed,” Raut had said.
While Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut hailed Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze, the latter had reportedly named Shiv Sena leaders in the Antilia explosives case.
Interestingly, the statement had come at a time when Vaze, a former Shiv Sena leader himself, had allegedly named Shiv Sena leaders in the gelatin case. Vaze had reportedly said that he was just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and policemen and Shiv Sena leaders had a bigger role.