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Center hands over SUV case to NIA, sparks new dispute with Maharashtra government | India News

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NEW DELHI / MUMBAI: The Union Home Office on Monday ordered an investigation by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) into the recovery of explosives from a van parked on Mumbai ‘s Carmichael Road, near the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani. The decision sparked a new dispute between the Center and the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, with CM Uddhav Thackeray smelling “somewhat fishy” and the state Interior Minister Anil Deshmukh calling the move “incorrect”.
Deshmukh said that while the NIA had taken over the explosives case, the case involving the death of Thane Mansukh resident Hiran (48), who had claimed the car belonged to him, will continue to be investigated by the Anti-Terror Squad. Thackeray said the ATS was investigating the matter “but despite that, if the Center turns it over to the NIA, it would mean something is wrong. We will not give up until we expose it. ”

Center hands over SUV case to NIA, sparks new dispute with Maharashtra government | India News

The NIA said it is in the process of re-registering the explosives case that has so far been under investigation by the ATS. The NIA is empowered under the NIA Act to investigate cases involving explosives and IED / bomb blasts, as the Explosive Substances Act is part of the NIA’s “offense program.” This does not require the consent of the state government in question. All that is required is an order from the MHA entrusting the case to the NIA.
Mumbai police were initially looking at the angle of the explosives, while Mumbra police had registered an accidental death report after Hiran’s body was found in a Thane stream last Friday. The ATS took over the explosives investigation after opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis brought charges against Deputy Inspector Sachin Waze on the Assembly floor on Friday. After Hiran’s family said they suspected a crime, on Sunday the ATS took over that case and turned it into a murder investigation. A letter allegedly written by Hiran has also appeared denouncing the harassment by the police.
Deshmukh said Monday: “The state Department of the Interior has received a communication from the MHA regarding the investigation into the recovery of explosives that have been entrusted to the NIA. In our opinion, this was the wrong decision, particularly when state law enforcement agencies were moving in the right direction. Mumbai Police are very competent and professional. But since the case has been turned over to the NIA, we will cooperate with the central agency. ”
The Explosive Substances Act was added to the NIA Program in 2019 through an amendment to the NIA Act. The NIA recently took up a case related to an explosion in Murshidabad, West Bengal, in which the Minister of State, Jakir Hossain, was injured. Shortly after the Shiv Sena-led government took office, the NIA had taken over Elgar Parishad’s case about a Maoist conspiracy against the government. At the time, the MVA government had not objected to the NIA taking over the investigation.
An NIA official said the agency, as of now, had only been entrusted with the case involving the recovery of the explosives-laden car outside the Ambanis’ residence, Antilia. “The Mansukh Hiran case is not mentioned in the MHA order. We cannot say at this point where our investigation into the SUV case will lead us in the future. Any clue or angle that is related to our case will be followed carefully, “the official told TOI.
Deshmukh said that in the past, the Center had entrusted the investigation of sensitive cases to the CBI or the NIA, but there had been no visible progress. “The crime in the Elgar Parishad case was recorded on January 8, 2018 for objectionable speeches, while the NIA took over the investigation on January 24, 2020. We do not know the status of the case,” he said. In the case related to the death of Sushant Singh Rajput as well, he added, “the IWC has not yet concluded the cause of death. We hope that the CBI will present a report as soon as possible ”.
Jelly wands and an anonymous note threatening to harm the Ambani family were recovered during a search for the Scorpio that was found stationed near Antilia on February 25. Mumbai police had said, based on Hiran’s statement, that his car had developed a problem and that he had left it on the Eastern Express Highway, that the vehicle was stolen on February 17.

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