Mumbai Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze has put up a WhatsApp status saying “time to say goodbye to the world” is getting closer amid the controversy surrounding his role in Mansukh Hiren’s death.
On 13 March in the morning, Inspector Sachin Vaze put up a WhatsApp status reacting to the allegations levelled against him by Mansukh Hiren’s wife and other family members. Sachin Vaze has said he is being falsely implicated in the case like how he was wrongly arrested 17 years back by the CID.
The WhatsApp status reads: 3 March 2004. Fellow officers from the CID arrested me in a false case. That arrest inconclusive till date. Sensing the history is going to repeat. My fellow officers are on to falsely trap me. There’s a slight difference in the scenario. Then probably I had 17 years of hope, patience, life and service too. Now I will have neither 17 years of further life nor service nor patience to live. I think the time to say goodbye to the world is coming closer.
Meanwhile, Sachin Vaze has filed for an anticipatory bail in the Thane sessions court after an FIR was lodged against him and he was shunted out of the prestigious Mumbai Crime Branch unit.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had on 12 March recorded the statements of Mansukh Hiren’s brother Vinod and son Meet in the investigation of his mysterious death. The body of the auto-parts dealer was found in a creek in Thane on 5 March, about a week after an SUV that belonged to him was used to plant explosives and a threat letter near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence in South Mumbai.
The victim family has claimed the SUV in question had been used by Sachin Vaze between November 2020 and 5 February 2021. Vaze, who has since been transferred to the Special Branch, has denied these claims.
Sachin Vaze transferred from Crime Branch’s CIU
Sachin Vaze was on 12 March transferred from the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch to the Special Branch of the police, as allegations swirled about him in connection with the security scare outside the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani, and the subsequent murder of Mansukh Hiren, to whom the car used to create the scare was traced.
On the last day of the state Assembly’s Budget Session on 10 March, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had announced that owing to allegations by the Opposition, Vaze would be transferred from CIU.
Late 11 March, a decision was taken to transfer Vaze to the Special Branch. He was given the charge of Citizen Facilitation Centre (CFC). The CFC handles police clearance for passports, various licenses and other public-related services.
This is a non-executive posting compared to his role in the CIU where he was spearheading the investigation of several important cases. He was probing the rigged Television Ratings Points case, the Dilip Chhabria cheating case and the fake social media followers case.
Prior to Vaze’s appointment to CIU, the unit was primarily involved in gathering information. After he was posted there, several important cases were handed over to CIU. Vaze’s proficiency on cyber offences was also cited behind his posting to CIU.
Vaze was rehabilitated in Mumbai Police in June 2020, after a 16-year suspension for his alleged role in the custodial death of a 27-year-old man, Khwaja Yunus, in 2003. He had quit the force during the suspension. His reinstatement was explained as a Covid-19 measure to tide over staff shortage.
However, Vaze fortunes took an adverse turn after he began probing the terror threat scare case in which a Scorpio vehicle was found parked outside the Ambani residence with 20 gelatin sticks and a threat letter inside it on 25 February. The police found that the vehicle was being used by Mansukh Hiren, a Thane-based auto decor shopowner.
On 5 March, Hiren’s body was found in Kalwa creek hours after he was reported missing by his family.
On same day, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis alleged at the Assembly that Vaze in fact knew Hiren from before and they had spoken over the phone in the first half of last year. After Hiren’s death came to light, Fadnavis read out the statement of the deceased’s wife Vimla where she alleged that Vaze was linked to her husband’s death.
Vimla further alleged that Vaze had asked Hiren to get arrested in the case and promised to get him bailed out. She claimed that Vaze had in fact been using the Scorpio between last November and 5 February, this year. Based on these allegations, the Opposition demanded that Vaze be suspended and arrested.
After several adjournments during the Assembly session on this issue, the home minister had announced in the House that Vaze will be transferred from the Crime Branch. While the terror scare case was taken over by NIA, the case of Hiren’s death was transferred to Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad.