Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh and former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma on Wednesday visited Peddar Road office of National Investigation Agency (NIA) where enquiries were made with them in connection with the two criminal cases being probed by the central agency.
According to the sources, enquiries were made with Singh on various aspects such as reinstatement of now suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze in the Mumbai Police force after nearly 16 years, following his suspension due to an alleged fake encounter case, the fact that Vaze worked under and reported to Singh when he was Commissioner, and on how several high-end luxury cars linked to Vaze were seen parked at the Mumbai Commissioner's office premises, and whether or not he was aware of this.
A report submitted by the Mumbai police commissioner Hemant Nagrale to the state government about Vaze's tenure in the police force after his reinstatement stated that, Vaze's reinstatement to service after the completion of his suspension on 6 June 2020 was brought up at a review meeting at the level of the Commissioner of Police, who then was Parambir Singh. As per the report, the decision on Vaze's reinstatement was taken in the meeting also attended by the Joint Commissioner of Police, the Additional Commissioner of Police and the then Deputy Commissioner of Police, apart from Singh.
The sources also claimed that Singh, who had arrived at the NIA office around 9:30 AM, was also enquired about what were the procedures that were followed at the time of assigning him the probe of Antilia bomb scare case and what were the initial findings of the probe. The enquiry lasted for about four hours.
The NIA had received information that Pradeep Sharma too had visited Vaze's office in the first week of March. The agency was making enquiries with Sharma to ascertain his purpose of visit to Vaze's office. Enquiries with Sharma, who arrived at the NIA office around 1 pm, continued till late Wednesday evening.
Sharma was a part of the team of encounter specialists that Vaze was also a part of in 2004.
On February 25, a gelatine sticks-laden Scorpio was found parked near the Antilia residence of Industrialist Mukesh Ambani. The probe revealed that the said vehicle belonged to Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran. Hiran had claimed that his Scorpio had been stolen from his possession a week before the SUV was found at Carmichael Road. Hiran was later found dead on March 5 in Thane.
The NIA on March 13 had arrested Vaze after his role surfaced in the Antilia bomb scare case.
Initial investigation into Hiran's death was done by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), till the MHA handed over the probe to the NIA on March 21.
The NIA has also taken over the custody from the ATS of Naresh Gor and convicted police constable Vinayak Shinde for allegedly helping Vaze in Hiran's murder.