Treated like accused despite being a victim: letter by SUV owner in Antilia bomb scare case

Mumbai: Mansukh Hiren, the 'owner' of the explosive laden SUV found in the proximity of Antilia few days ago and whose body was recovered from Reti Bunder Creek in Thane on Friday morning, had written a letter to Mumbai and Thane police commissioners about alleged harassment at the hands of policemen and news reporters.

In the letter which was also addressed to the chief minister and Deputy CM, he was seeking intervention and protection for himself and his family from the said harassment. In the letter dated March 2, Hiren alleged that he had been treated like an accused despite being a victim. Interrogation by various agencies had disturbed his piece of mind and in spite of being a victim, he was treated as an accused, he wrote in the letter.

Hiren, whose SUV car with gelatine sticks and a threat letter was recovered near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence "Antilia" on February 25, was an important link in the case. He was missing since Thursday night and his body was recovered a day later from the creek.

In the letter, Hiren wrote that since February 25 when it was established that the car belonged to him, several police units along with ATS and NIA had called him several times for questioning.

In the letter, which is in the possession of the Free Press Journal, Hiren alleged that API Sachin Vaze had interrogated him at length and asked the same questions again and again. Vaze, incharge of the Criminal Intelligence Unit of the crime branch, was previously handling the case, before it was transferred to ACP Nitin Alakhnure.

He also wrote that he had been receiving calls from many journalists from newspapers and TV channels who were also harassing him and his family unnecessarily. “I am being harassed without having any knowledge about the culprits who not only committed theft of my car but also misused it. I have already given my explanation and statements,” he said in the letter.

Hiren's wife Vimla has said that her husband could not have committed suicide.

In a video which was recorded just after removing his body from the creek several handkerchiefs seemed to be tied to his mouth. Thane police have not commented on this aspect.

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