Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday demanded the arrest of police officer Sachin Vaze in connection with the mysterious death of auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiren, the owner of a vehicle laden with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence.
Fadnavis claimed that Hiren's wife has given a statement that her husband may have been murdered by assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze. He demanded that Vaze be arrested under Indian Penal Code Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence).
Fadnavis said Hiren's wife has claimed in her statement to police that her husband knew Vaze and the Scorpio was with the police official from November 2020 to February 5, 2021. "She had also said her husband was with Vaze on February 27, 28 and March 2. The complaint letter (of Hiren) addressed to the Chief Minister, DyCM and police commissioners of Mumbai and Thane which surfaced in public after his death was written on the instructions of Vaze," Fadnavis alleged.
He said Hiren's wife also claimed in her statement that her husband told her that Vaze had asked him to get himself arrested and he would ensure his bail in a few days. For the uninitiated, Hiren was later found dead in Retibunder Creek on Retibunder road in Mumbra (W).
All you need to know about Sachin Vaze:
The 49-year-old, who hails from Kolhapur, joined the Maharashtra Police Service in 1990 as a sub-inspector. He was first posted to the Naxalite-infested Gadchiroli district and then to Thane City Police.
When he entered Mumbai Police, he went on to become one of the "encounter specialists" and eliminated several gangsters including those belonging to Dawood Ibrahim's and Chhota Rajan's gangs. Reportedly, he has eliminated over 60 gangsters in several encounters.
On March 3, 2004, Vaze was suspended along with 14 other policemen on murder charges on the alleged custodial death of Khwaja Yunus, a suspect in the December 2, 2002, Ghatkopar bomb blast case. In 2008, a 1,000-page chargesheet was filed which named Vaze and others.
In 2008, Vaze joined the Shiv Sena in presence of late party chief Balasaheb Thackeray. Even though he appeared on some news channels as the party spokesperson, he wasn't very active in politics.
Vaze's colleagues call him "techno-savvy" as he is known to use the best of gadgets and gizmos to solve cases. He has solved several cyber crime cases, financial frauds and one international credit card fraud case.
On June 6, 2020, the Maharashtra government revoked Vaze's suspension and he was reinstated to Mumbai Police during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Khawaja Yunus's mother Asiya Begum filed contempt pleas in the Bombay High Court against Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh and Additional Director General of Police Amitabh Gupta after Vaze's reinstatement.
He is currently handling high-profile cases including the TRP rigging scam, the Anvay Naik suicide case, sports car scam involving Dilip Chhabria and the Bollywood-TV-entertainment industry’s casting couch racket.
Vaze has also written a book based on the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai called 'Jinkun Harleli Ladhaai'.