Explosives case: NIA slaps UAPA on Waze

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MUMBAI: The

National Investigation Agency

on Wednesday invoked the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) against suspended API Sachin Waze and others in the explosives case.
Meanwhile, a Thane magistrate has directed the state’s anti-terrorism squad (ATS) to not proceed with the probe into the Mansukh Hiran murder case and the immediate transfer of the entire case record and proceedings to the special

NIA

court in Mumbai.
A

police officer

said the act of planting explosives falls under the definition of a terror act. “It is immaterial that the explosives were placed near industrialist Mukhesh Ambani’s residence. The terror act is against the community as a whole,” the officer said. The sections invoked can attract life imprisonment. The NIA had earlier invoked the Explosives Substances Act, among other sections. The ATS probe so far has reportedly found that the plot to kill Hiran was hatched on March 2 during a two-hour meeting Waze held with two of his colleagues at the police HQ. The explosives were placed in a Scorpio, owned by Hiran near industrialist

Mukesh Ambani

's residence on February 25.
“What they did first was to ask Hiran to draft a letter through an advocate, alleging he was facing pressure from the police and the media, which was not the case. According to the plan, Waze wanted to show that Hiran was under mental pressure and was likely to kill himself,” an ATS official said.
The technical details gathered about his mobile location showed on March 4, Waze was at the

Crime Intelligence Unit

(CIU) and there was not a single incoming or outgoing call from his

mobile phone

while there were eight messages from various marketing companies.
“All communication with accomplices was through SIM cards procured from Gujarat through an accomplice. During the interrogation of arrested constable Vinayak Shinde (51), it transpired that Waze was communicating with him with a SIM card procured from Gujarat,” an official said.
“At 7pm, Waze left the police commissioner’s office and reached Thane around 8.20pm and called Hiran. We believe that Waze himself called Hiran but told him to inform his wife that one inspector Tawde had called. This was done because the family was upset after Waze asked him to take responsibility for planting the explosives,” said an ATS official.
ATS believes Waze met Hiran along with three or four others in Thane and the former left for the CP’s office and three, including Shinde, smothered Mansukh in the moving car.
ATS said Hiran’s wife tried to call him at 11pm but both his phones were switched off. His call detail reports show the last call that he received was from his wife was at 8.32pm. At 10.10pm, there were four incoming messages on one of his SIM cards that showed the location as Maljipada, Vasai.
In its response to the Thane court which was hearing an NIA plea to take over the case on Wednesday, the ATS said, “It appears around 9pm, he was kidnapped and his phones were switched off. After that he was killed and his mouth stuffed with handkerchiefs. His entire face was covered with a scarf and his body was dumped in a creek.”
The ATS further informed the court that after committing the crime in either Thane or Mumbra, the killers took his phone and started it for a few seconds near Vasai to misguide police investigation.
Meanwhile, Waze’s mobile tower location was still showing him in the CP’s office. Waze reached the CP's office around 10.45pm and then along with his team reached Tipsy bar at Dongri at 11.30pm. This is what the ATS had stated while opposing Waze’s bail application on Monday before the Thane court. “Waze created an alibi for his absence from the spot where Hiran disappeared and the sequence that led to his death thereafter.”
An NIA team took custody of the other two accused, arrested by the ATS for their alleged role in the murder on Wednesday. The two—Shinde, earlier convicted in a fake encounter case, and Gujarat-based bookie Naresh Gor (31)—were taken by the NIA team from ATS’ Thane office. The duo will be produced before an NIA court on Thursday.
ATS also found a dairy from Shinde’s possession, in which there was a list of 35 beer bars and clubs from where he used to allegedly collect bribes on behalf of Waze, said an officer.
During a search at a five-star hotel in south Mumbai, the NIA recovered a fake Aadhaar card that Waze is suspected to have used for his stay there from February 16 to February 20. His name on the fake Aadhaar card was mentioned as Sushant Sadashiv Khamkar and had a different date of birth. He had used his photograph on the fake Aadhaar card though. The NIA was also probing who had financed Waze’s stay in the five-star and the information suggests a businessman booked in a cheating case had paid for it.
Meanwhile, the NIA recorded the statement of a Mumbai deputy commissioner of police on Wednesday.

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