API Sachin Vaze, who was recently transferred from the Crime Intelligence Unit, amid mounting clamour for his suspension during the probe into Mansukh Hiran's murder, was interrogated by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) late on Wednesday night for over 10 hours.
Sources claimed that he was asked about his connection with Hiran and whether the Scorpio car found outside Antilia was given to him by Hiran at any point of time; he was also asked to respond to allegations levelled by the deceased's wife in her statement to the police that she suspected Vaze was behind the murder.
According to police sources, Vaze appeared before Maharashtra ATS Police on Wednesday night; he was interrogated by a senior police official for over 10 hours and allowed to leave early on Thursday morning. While the details were not revealed, indications are he was asked how he learnt about the gelatin sticks found in the Scorpio car; what was the line of action after he found the car outside Antilia – the Mukesh Ambani residence; and what kind of relations did he have with Hiran: did they talk to each other often?
Sources said that Vaze was also questioned about the allegations levelled by Hiran's wife Vimla, who has claimed that the car, which belonged to her husband, was in Vaze's possession for the last four months. Vaze was also quizzed about his connection to Minister Dhananjay Gawde and his relations with the minister.
According to an official, when quizzed, Vaze is believed to have denied all allegations and said that Hiran was in contact with a number of policemen in the force.
In her complaint and statement given to the Maharashtra ATS, Hiran’s wife Vimla has alleged, "From the given circumstances, I am sure my husband was murdered. I strongly suspect that police officer Sachin Vaze could have killed my husband. I request the police to probe the matter from all angles and take my suspicions into consideration."
Earlier, on Wednesday, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had said that Vaze will be removed from the Crime Branch and posted in some other department to ensure impartial investigation in the Mansukh Hiran death case.