Mumbai: Arrested Mumbai police officer Sachin Vaze was brought to Antilia, the house of India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, as part of the investigation in the case of a car full of explosives found near the home of the Reliance Industries chairman.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) brought Mr Vaze to the spot outside Antilia where the car with explosives was found to reconstruct the sequence of events, sources have said.
The NIA took over the case from Mumbai Police after allegations emerged against Mr Vaze that he was linked to the death of a man, Mansukh Hiran, believed to be the owner of the explosives-filled SUV.
Mr Vaze was made to walk by the NIA near the spot where the SUV was found, sources said. They made him walk in the area in shirt and pants first, and then in a kurta and a handkerchief wrapped around his head in order to reconstruct a possible sequence of events of the day the SUV was found outside the 27-storey building, as seen on CCTV footage, sources have said.
The NIA has alleged that the number plate of the abandoned vehicle was found in a car that Mr Vaze was using. The agency also claims a person seen in CCTV footage near Antilia the same night was Mr Waze. It says the fingerprints on the SUV matched Mr Waze’s and that he was travelling in a Toyota Innova, tailing the Mahindra Scorpio car.
The investigation has become a huge embarrassment for the Maharashtra government, with the opposition BJP accusing Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray of shielding Mr Vaze, a controversial cop who was once a member of his Shiv Sena.
Mr Vaze was the first investigating officer in the case after the SUV filled with gelatin sticks was found.
The SUV was traced to Mansukh Hiren, an auto parts dealer who had reported it stolen on February 17. Mr Hiran was found dead in a creek near Mumbai on March 5. His wife alleged that Mr Vaze had borrowed the same vehicle for four months and had returned it on February 5. She also accused the cop of a role in her husband’s death.