Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the Antilia bomb scare and Mansukh Hiran murder arrested police inspector Sunil Mane early on Friday morning. Sunil Mane was the in-charge of Unit-11 of the Mumbai crime branch.
NIA sources said that Mane was involved in Mansukh Hiran’s murder and helped suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze in the crime. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Mane has courted controversy. In May 2020, Mane was transferred to the Modus Operandi Branch (MOB) of the crime branch after an accused levelled allegation that the officer had asked for money. The then joint commissioner of police (Crime) Santosh Rastogi, who is currently with the NIA, had termed the transfer as ‘administrative’.
Mane would be produced before an NIA court later in the day, where NIA officials will seek his custody.
At the same time, judicial custody of Vaze and assistant police inspector Riyazuddin Kazi would end today. They too would be produced before the same court.
The controversy surrounding the involvement of Mumbai police officials had started after a Mahindra Scorpio SUV laden with gelatin sticks and a threat letter was found inside the car which was parked outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence in South Mumbai on February 24.
Hiran, the owner of the Mahindra Scorpio, had lodged an FIR stating that his car was stolen but later he was found dead in a creek near Thane on March 5. Later, Hiran's wife levelled allegations against Vaze that could have killed her husband. Based on her statement, the Maharashtra ATS registered a case of murder and arrested two people Naresh Gor and convicted police constable Vinayak Shinde, who was accused of being involved in the Hiran murder case.
The matter was later transferred to NIA who have so far arrested Vaze and his colleague Riyazuddin Kazi in the case. Mane is the third crime branch officer to be arrested.