Maha extortion-murder scandal probe: The latest developments
Here's what we know as far as the investigation into Mumbai Police Officer Sachin Vaze involvement in the Mansukh Hiren murder case and the allegations levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh is concerned.
One of the biggest political scandals in Maharashtra is witnessing fast-paced developments. From allegations of extortion and political interference by state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to charges of murder, coverup and conspiracy on Mumbai Police officers, the executive and the law enforcement face the heat like never before.
Here's what we know about the investigation into Mumbai Police Officer Sachin Vaze involvement in the Mansukh Hiren murder case and the allegations levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
* The Maharashtra cabinet is set to meet today at Sahyadri Guest House in Mumbai. The crucial cabinet meet, scheduled for 3:30 pm, will be attended by leaders of all three Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi parties.
* The Supreme Court will today hear Param Bir Singh's plea seeking direction for immediate impartial and fair CBI probe into alleged malpractices of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
* The Mumbai Police Crime Branch has undergone a massive rejig. A total 65 Crime Branch officers, include Sachin Vaze's close aide Riyaz Qazi, were transferred on Tuesday. Qazi was among those questioned by the NIA in connection with the Mansukh Hiren murder case.
* The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad says that its preliminary probe has revealed that API Sachin Vaze was the mastermind in the Mansukh murder case. This didn't rule out the possibility of more arrests in the case.
* Maharashtra ATS chief Jaijit Singh claimed that the Mansukh case accused had destroyed sim cards and mobile phones used in the conspiracy and crime. They also destroyed several CCTV footage.
* The ATS had on March 21 arrested Vinayak Shinde, a convicted constable on parole, and bookie Naresh Gor in connection with the same case. According to ATS sources, it was Shinde who executed the conspiracy hatched by Vaze. It was Shinde who called Hiren to Ghodbunder Road on March 4, sources added.
* The ATS has seized a printer from Vinayak Shinde that was allegedly used to print the threat letter that was found inside the gelatin-laden Scorpio parked a few blocks away from Mukesh Ambani's residence on February 25.
* The National Investigation Agency, as part of its probe into the Mansukh case, searched the Trident hotel room where Vaze reportedly stayed between February 16 and 20. Hotel CCTV footage shows Vaze entering with five bags, which have not been recovered so far.
* The NIA has also found that Vaze had checked into the South Mumbai hotel using a fake Aadhaar card. However, the card had his picture. A photocopy of the fake Aadhar Card is with the NIA.
* The NIA is likely to rope in the Enforcement Directorate into the probe after a diary with details of the financial transaction was allegedly recovered from Vaze's office.
* The agency has also taken possession of the explosives-laden SUV that was found parked a few blocks away from Ambani's residence.