In all likelihood, the last word on the Ambani bomb scare case is yet to be heard. But from what we already know, it is enough to singe the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi regime in the state. In particular, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will find it hard to emerge from it unscathed. The Sena Pramukh has egg on his face. And his Sena’s image as a party of dubious credentials stands further reinforced by the shenanigans of its favourite and most favoured policemen, the disgraced Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze and the disreputable Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh who was removed in a bid to save the government further shame.
Yet, a scandal of such an audacious nature is unlikely to die down easily. For, without the patronage of the Sena bosses Vaze could not have done what he had allegedly set out to do. It is too pat to claim, as has been suggested on his behalf, that he had planted the SUV laden with gelatin sticks outside the Ambani home to cause a sensation and win laurels by claiming to solve the ‘crime’ which he himself had planned and sought to execute. This kind of stuff happens in Bollywood films, not in real life.
But under Uddhav Thackeray the Sena and its handpicked policemen and bureaucrats can try and accomplish the impossible. Like reinstating a cop suspended for custodial death of a suspect and for corruption and extortion after more than a decade he had resigned from the service. And justify the reinstatement against the specific directives of the high court on the ground that his services were needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic. And, yet hand him the charge of the criminal intelligence department where he can merrily resume his extortion racket.
Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis has publicly stated the above and as far we know nobody in the MVA has denied these grave charges against the CM and others in the government. Further confirmation can be adduced from the fact that the usually loud and vociferous megaphone of the Sena has overnight fallen silent after shamefacedly defending Vaze and questioning the NIA intervention in the case, calling it an insult of the Mumbai police.
We suppose Vaze and Param Bir Singh have done enough to brighten the image of the Mumbai police and no one else need do anything more to shine it further. Such shameless creatures, these. They were frontally defending Vaze till Wednesday, abusing the Centre for the NIA intervention. Now, they have gone behind purdah, with one of them shamefacedly dubbing the transfer of the disreputable Param Bir Singh as ‘in the routine course’.
Of course, the Sainiks, subsisting on a strong diet of daily lies and distortions can be relied to swallow anything that their superiors feed them. But in the eyes of the ordinary people the MVA stands exposed as a grand failure unable to provide a semblance of governance. The MVA is turning out to be a three-legged animal, each pulling in different directions with the head itself disinterested in anything other than keeping his Sainiks in clover.
The Ambani bomb scare lifted the lid on what was one of the more odious faces of extortion and protection rackets being run by the local police and others with the active patronage of the party in power. It is significant that without the NIA taking over the investigation in the bomb scare case, chances of the diabolic plot becoming public were negligible, especially when very conveniently the criminal cop who had planted the gelatin sticks-laden SUV outside the Ambani home had been himself entrusted the charge of unearthing the conspiracy.
Could it be that those who violently opposed the NIA investigation were party to the conspiracy? Shouldn’t they be questioned to get at the truth of the hard-to-believe-but-true-nonetheless plot devised by Vaze and his patrons to hoodwink the people at large? Fadnavis and a number of independent observers have alleged the involvement of high-ups in the Maharashtra government without whose blessings Vaze, a mere API, and, even Param Bir Singh could not have dared doing what the former had set out to do, that is, dazzle the world with his extraordinary Sherlock Holmes-like feats.
Indeed, it will be highly suspicious if the investigations into the mysterious death of Mansukh Hiran, Vaze’s associate, are not handed over to the NIA. Given that Vaze remains a prime suspect, the Mumbai police cannot be relied upon to investigate it without evoking distrust and suspicion. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh must regret giving in to the pressure from the CM in reinstating Vaze and handing him a lucrative post. Henceforth, he should exercise his own discretion instead of accommodating venal interests.