MUMBAI: In a major breakthrough, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested a dismissed policeman and a bookie in connection with the mysterious death of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran, an official said here on Sunday.
Convicted Mumbai policeman Vinayak B. Shinde, 51 and cricket bookie Naresh R. Gor, 31, were held as part of the investigations into the death case of Hiran whose SUV Scorpio with 20 gelatin sticks was planted and abandoned near the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani on February 25.
An ATS official said that Gor had allegedly procured 5 mobile SIM cards for the use of Shinde and the other prime accused, arrested-suspended Assistant Police Inspector (API) Sachin Vaze, currently in the custody of National Investigation Agency (NIA), for the twin crimes.
Shinde was dismissed from service after being convicted in the November 2006 Versova fake encounter case of Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiya, said to be a close aide of mafia don, Rajendra S. Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan.
Sentenced to life imprisonment, he was out on parole since May 2020 when he came in contact with Vaze and reportedly helped out in his illegal activities.
The ATS is probing the Shinde-Gor duo to identify the others involved, including the masterminds behind the two crimes, which have triggered a huge political upheaval in Maharashtra.
The developments come close on the heels of the Centre transferring the Hiran death case to the NIA, which is probing the SUV planting matter, followed by the former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh’s ‘letter-bomb’ that hit the national headlines on Saturday evening.