Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh On Wednesday announced the removal of Mumbai police officer Sachin Vaze from the Crime Intelligence Unit till the inquiry into the mysterious death of automobile parts dealer Mansukh Hiran is not completed. While making the announcement in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, Deshmukh said the state government will conduct an impartial probe into the death of Hiran.
“Police officer Sachin Vaze will be removed from his current posting in the crime branch till the investigation is not completed. I am taking this decision in view of the rising demand from the opposition,” the minister said.
Mansukh Hiran was in possession of the SUV which was found with explosives outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house in south Mumbai on February 25. Police said the vehicle was stolen from Hiran’s possession on February 18. The mystery deepened after Hiran’s body was found in a creek last Friday in neighbouring Thane.
Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday demanded action against API Sachin Vaze in connection with the death of Hiran.
“We will take appropriate action against Vaze if he is involved in his death,” Deshmukh said in the Council on Wednesday. However, Leader of Opposition in the Council Pravin Darekar and other opposition members expressed dissatisfaction over the government’s decision.
“Vaze is in some way involved in the death of Mansukh Hiran. He should face legal action and should be suspended at once,” Darekar said.
Later, talking to reporters in the Vidhan Bhavan complex, Deshmukh said the Maharashtra government has decided to transfer Vaze from the crime branch till the state Anti- Terrorism Squad (ATS) completes its probe into the case of Hiran’s death.
Referring to the alleged suicide of Dadra and Nagar Haveli Lok Sabha member Mohan Delkar, he said a case has been registered at the Marine Drive police station based on a complaint of the MP’s son.
Besides, a case has been registered against the Union Territory’s administrator Praful Kheda Patelunder the Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989, the minister said.
Delkar (58), a seven-term MP from Dadra and Nagar Haveli, was found dead in a hotel in Marine Drive area of south Mumbai on February 22.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anil Parab said in the state Assembly that API Vaze will be shifted from the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU).
“I also request the leader of opposition to hand over the proof that he has to the police,” he said.
The issue was raised by Fadnavis, who demanded that the government shift Vaze from his present posting.
“We want the House to function and debate on the budget. The government has said it will probe the Mansukh Hiran case. Vaze has to be shifted from his present posting,” Fadnavis said.
Earlier, before Home Minister Deshmukh’s announcement in the Council, the Upper House witnessed ruckus as the opposition BJP demanded action against Vaze.
BJP MLCs Gopichand Padalkar and Darekar sought to know Deshmukh’s stand on Vaze and why the police officer was being “protected” by the state.
As Deshmukh started speaking on how the crime rate in Maharashtra came down last year as compared to 2019 citing a report of the NCRB, Darekar objected to it and demanded that he first speak onwhat action would be taken on Vaze. Amid the ruckus, Council’s Deputy Chairperson Neelam Gorhe adjourning the House for five minutes.
Meanwhile, Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde told reporters in the Vidhan Bhavan complex that the Maharashtra ATS and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) were probing the case of Hiran’s death and the recovery of explosives-laden vehicle outside Ambani’s house.
“The truth will come out after the probe is completed. It will be unfair to take action until the probe is completed. So Vaze willbe transfered from his present posting,” he said.