Two days after the body of Mansukh Hiren, the purported owner of the car with explosives found outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence here last month, was found in a creek, the Maharashtra ATS on Sunday registered a case of murder against unidentified persons, an official said.
The formal orders to hand over the probe into the death of Hiren (46) to the ATS were issued on Saturday late night.
The Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) registered the FIR against unidentified persons on the order of the state home department under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including murder, disappearance of evidence, and a criminal conspiracy, the official said.
Accordingly, all the documents related to the case were handed over to the ATS by Mumbra police in Thane district.
Earlier, family members of the deceased had demanded registration of a murder case and refused to take possession of his body.
However, they finally agreed to claim the body on Saturday on the intervention of senior police officers in Thane.
Vimla Hiren, wife of the deceased, had filed a complaint with the police.
The body of Hiren was fished out from a creek in neighbouring Thane district on the morning of March 5, hours after he went "missing".
Hiren, an automobile accessories dealer from Thane, had purportedly written a letter on March 2 to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and police commissioners of Thane and Mumbai, alleging that he was being harassed by the police and media since the vehicle was found outside Ambani's house.
He had also claimed that despite being a victim, he was treated like an accused.
The car, a Scorpio, with 20 gelatin sticks inside was found near 'Antilia', the multi-storey residence of Mukesh Ambani in south Mumbai, on February 25.
Police had said the vehicle was stolen from Airoli-Mulund Bridge on February 18.
The ATS had already taken over the probe into the security scare outside Ambani's residence.
In the letter, Hiren claimed that he was being harassed despite not having any knowledge about the culprits, who not only "stole his vehicle but also misused it".
A Thane Police official had said that Hiren had left his shop around 8.30 pm on March 4 in an autorickshaw and since then his phone was switched off.
"His family members had lodged a missing person's report on Friday morning after he did not return home and a case was registered at Naupada police station. By that time, a body was found at Mumbra and it was later confirmed that the deceased was Mansukh," he had said, adding that Hiren's mobile phone is yet to be recovered.
Officials on Saturday said the autopsy report of Hiren reserved the opinion on the cause of his death and added that no visible external injuries were found on his body.
The viscera of Hiren was already sent for forensic analysis, they said.