New Delhi: Dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze planned the Antilia bomb scare because he wanted to establish himself as a supercop again by creating a terrorist threat and staging an encounter, says the chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency.
Waze, who had been reinstated to the Mumbai police in June 2020 after a 16-year suspension, wanted to “regain his clout” as an encounter specialist and an ace detective, the investigating agency said in the more than 1,000-page chargesheet filed before a Mumbai court last week.
The sensational bomb scare case, which began with the discovery of 20 gelatin sticks inside a green Scorpio on February 25 near Mukesh Ambani’s residence, took many twists and turns. In the days that followed, Mansukh Hiran, the custodian of the car, was found dead in a creek in Thane. Soon, Waze – who had initially been in charge of the investigation – was arrested on March 13. He would later be dismissed from service.
Apart from Waze, the NIA has listed nine others as accused. Among them are three dismissed police officers and one retired police officer, besides assassins who were allegedly hired to kill Hiran.
The NIA alleges that Waze, who was then an assistant police inspector commanding the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU), himself planted the explosive-laden car at Antilia.
He initially tried to make it look like an organisation called ‘Jaish ul Hind’ was responsible for the bomb scare. Later, he tried to convince Hiran to take responsibility for planting the car at Antilia. When Hiran refused to do so, Waze conspired to kill him as the former was aware of the entire conspiracy and could “spill the beans”, the NIA claims.
The chargesheet also says that Waze financed the entire conspiracy through an extortion racket.
How did the car come to be at Antilia?
The Scorpio car actually belonged to one Sam Newton, who handed it over to Hiran. The latter ran a car decor shop and Newton gave him the car in lieu of pending dues for refurbishing the vehicle.
Hiran and Waze knew each other, the NIA contends. To execute the bomb scare conspiracy, Waze asked Hiran to leave the car at a predecided location on a service road along the Eastern Express highway on February 17. He gave the key to Waze, who picked it up and parked it near his house. The NIA claims that Waze also convinced Hiran to file a complaint that the Scorpio was stolen, allowing him to use the car for the conspiracy.
Waze then removed the original number plates and affixed forged plates, deliberately choosing a number that belonged to a car owned by Reliance Industries and was part of Nita Ambani’s convoy, the chargesheet says. By doing so, Waze wanted to “create an enormous impact”, it says.
He placed the gelatin sticks and a threat note, which warned that this was just a ‘glimpse’ of what was to come, inside the car and drove it to Carmichael Road and parked it there, the NIA says. The agency adds that Waze had told a person to drive a white Innova car, which belonged to the CIU, behind the Scorpio so he could later be picked up and dropped home. Waze misled the driver, telling him the car was planted at Carmichael as part of a ‘secret operation’ by the CIU. The driver is a protected witness, according to the chargesheet.
What happened next?
Once the Scorpio was found by the Ambani family’s security detail, Waze reached the spot and was able to get the investigation transferred to the CIU, the NIA says. This was part of his plan to ‘vitiate’ the investigation.
On February 27, a post appeared on a Telegram channel called ‘Jaish ul Hind’ claiming responsibility for the bomb scare. However, another message was circulated on social media the next day, denying Jaish ul Hind’s responsibility.
At this point, Waze began to destroy evidence to cover his tracks, the NIA says. He destroyed the vehicle entry register maintained at the CP office pertaining to the period before March 1, masking his movements. Waze also destroyed the clothes he wore when he parked the car near Antilia and the mobile phone that he had used.