With Sachin Vaze and Riyaz Kazi sent to extended judicial custody by a special NIA court till May 05, the National Investigation Agency has also secured suspended Crime Branch Inspector Sunil Mane’s custody till April 28.
In a recent update, the NIA reportedly conducted raids at Locals Arms Office in Marol, Andheri where Mane was recently posted, and at his prior office Crime Branch Unit 11 in Kandivali, Mumbai suburbs.
The NIA also conducted a raid at a location in Borivali from where a red car allegedly belonging to Mane was seized. The vehicle has been handed over to forensics to trace any relevant evidence in connection to Mumbai businessman Mansukh Hiren’s death case.
Allegations on Mane
Police inspector Sunil Mane, who was arrested on Friday by the NIA was said to be present in the area at Thane where Hiren was murdered in a car on March 4 and his body dumped in a creek nearby as per technical evidence found against him.
The NIA is also in search of a SIM card used by Mane to make calls to Hiren on the 3rd and 4th of March. As per sources, Mane was present at a meeting between the suspended APIs and was reportedly involved in passing on SIM cards procured from Vaze to other officials who were involved in the case.
On Saturday, Mane was taken to the three spots at Thane including the Reti Bunder creek where Hiren’s body was found.
NIA has also been scrutinizing Mane’s call details to establish who he was in touch with before and after the Antilia bomb-scare incident in February and Mansukh Hiren’s murder.
The investigation has incidentally revealed that the person who made the last call to Hiren around 8.30 pm on March 4, before he went missing, identified himself to be a crime branch officer from ‘Kandivali’. The call was made to get the victim out to Ghodbunder Road in Thane on the pretext of a meeting.
As per NIA sources, Mane was under suspicion from the beginning of the investigation for his involvement in the case. Sources claim that Mane was a crucial part of the conspiracy hatched to eliminate Hiren.
It is said that he was present at the crime intelligence unit (CIU) office on March 3, when Vaze was trying to convince Hiren to take the blame for placing the explosives-laden Scorpio near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence Antilia. Vaze had promised the businessman to get him out on bail in a few days.
Upon Hiren’s refusal to take the blame, Sachin Vaze along with his associates hatched a plan to eliminate the 48-year-businessman from Thane.
An NIA officer added that Mane was also allegedly a part of the meeting which was held at Chakala in Andheri by Vaze and Vinayak Shinde – a former constable arrested in the Mansukh Hiren death case.
Mane, Maharashtra Police service officer from the 1995 batch, was in charge of Mumbai’s Crime Branch’s Unit 11 until he was recently transferred to the local arms division as a part of the clean-up drive undertaken by police commissioner Hemant Nagrale after Sachin Vaze’s arrest by the NIA.
When NIA began the probe, Mane was posted in Mumbai’s Crime Branch’s Unit 11, Kandivali.