Anitlia explosives scare and Mansukh Hiran murder case: NIA says no to Sunil Mane’s plea to become approver
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has refused “to support” dismissed police inspector Sunil Mane’s plea seeking to become an approver in the Antilia explosives scare and Mansukh Hiran murder case
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has refused “to support” dismissed police inspector Sunil Mane’s plea seeking to become an approver in the Antilia explosives scare and Mansukh Hiran murder case.
“It is specifically and categorically submitted that the applicant, accused Sunil Mane (A-5), is directly involved in commission of offences and therefore was charge-sheeted for commission of offences punishable under section 120B, 201, 302, 364, 403, 465 and 471 of the IPC and section 16, 18 and 20 of the UA (P) Act, along with the co-accused,” the probe agency said in its reply to Mane’s plea in a special court on Thursday.
“After examination of the relevant material the prosecution cannot support the application of the applicant/accused seeking tender of pardon,” it added.
Mane had on February 2 written to the special NIA court requesting it to allow him to become an approver in the case. “After deeply thinking during my incarceration, I have realised my mistakes. Being a police officer, it was my duty to protect the life of citizens. But unfortunately, and unknowingly, I have committed some mistakes.”
“To repent these mistakes and to give justice to the victim (Hiran) and his family, I have decided to make a full and truthful disclosure of the whole circumstances and the facts of the case,” he said in his hand-written plea, urging the court to take his outstanding service record into consideration and give him “a chance to repent his mistakes by tendering pardon under section 307 of the Criminal Procedure Code.”
Mane was arrested by the NIA on April 23, 2021, for his alleged role in Hiran’s murder.
According to the prosecution, on February 25, 2021, a Mahindra Scorpio was found abandoned outside Antilia with 20 lose gelatine sticks kept in a backpack, and a note threatening the members of the Mukesh Ambani family. On March 5, the body of the vehicle owner - Thane-based trader Hiran - was found in the creek near Mumbra.
The NIA claimed that dismissed police officer Sachin Waze, who at the relevant time was heading the criminal intelligence unit of the crime branch, had planted the explosives-laden vehicle. Waze, who knew the vehicle owner, and others asked Hiran, 48, to take the blame and assured him of bailing him out. They, however, decided to kill him after the trader rejected their offer, the agency said.
Waze allegedly paid a large amount of money to former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma to get Hiran killed and Sharma then arranged four people for the job, the NIA said.
Mane, according to the agency, was part of the conspiracy hatched by Waze and others, and accordingly called Hiran to meet him at Ghodbundar Road in the evening of March 4. When Hiran went to meet him, Mane allegedly handed him over to the four killers who smothered the Thane resident in a four-wheeler and dumped his body in the creek.
On March 8, the NIA took over the probe in three separate cases registered in connection with the alleged theft of the SUV, planting of the explosives-laden vehicle outside Antilia, and the murder of Hiran.
Pradeep Sharma admitted to hospital
Sharma has again been admitted to Sasson General Hospital in Pune. On the prosecution’s plea, a court on Thursday directed the hospital to submit a status report of his health condition and the reason for his admission before it. Last year, Sharma was hospitalised for months. The court in January asked the prison authorities to shift him back to the jail from the hospital after he was found to be fit.