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Opinion | Gelatin sticks, two cars and Sachin Vaze connection: What was the motive?

The most surprising part of this was that the vehicle that was found filled with explosives near Antilia, was parked near Mumbai Police assistant inspector Sachin Vaze’s residence for one whole week. The other getaway car belonged to Sachin Vaze’s Crime Investigation Unit.

Rajat Sharma Rajat Sharma @RajatSharmaLive
New Delhi Updated on: March 16, 2021 15:31 IST
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Opinion | Gelatin sticks, two cars and Sachin Vajhe connection

The Antilia explosive case has taken a most curious turn. Two vehicles were used, one vehicle filled with gelatin sticks was parked outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence Antilia, and the other vehicle was used as a getaway car. The most surprising part of this was that the vehicle that was found filled with explosives near Antilia, was parked near Mumbai Police assistant inspector Sachin Vaze’s residence for one whole week. The other getaway car belonged to Sachin Waze’s Crime Investigation Unit.

And the funniest part was that Mumbai Police was on the lookout for these two vehicles, one before the incident, and the other after the incident.

I think the strangest part in the Sachin Vaze case is how an assistant police inspector could muster the courage to park a vehicle filled with explosive gelatin sticks outside India’s top industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence Antilia in Mumbai. And use his own office car for cover-up operation.

As more and more facts tumbled out on Monday against Vaze during the probe by National Investigation Agency, the question that arises is: What was Sachin Vaze’s motive?

Most of the circumstantial evidence and eyewitness accounts point to Vaze’s involvement in getting the Scorpio vehicle laden with explosives outside Antilia, the 27-storey residence of Mukesh Ambani. It was he who used the vehicle belonging to Mansukh Hiren, his businessman friend, who was found killed in a creek.

The key pointers: an assistant police inspector keeps his friend’s vehicle with him for four months and within days of returning the vehicle, it gets stolen mysteriously and is then found parked outside Antilia loaded with explosives; the Innova vehicle that was spotted on CCTV as the getaway care,  belonged to the Crime Investigation Unit of Mumbai Police, where Vaze was posted;  Mansukh’s widow alleging that it was Vaze who was persuading his friend to admit that he parked the Scorpio outside Antilia;  when Mansukh is interrogated, the API asks his lawyer friend to draft a letter on behalf of Mansukh addressed to the Police Commissioner, Chief Minister and Home Minister fearing threat to his life; two days later Mansukh’s body is found drowned inside a creek.

Can all these be mere coincidences? Of course, not. Then the most important question arises: Why would an assistant police inspector risk his career and life, and muster the courage to park explosives outside an industrialist’s house?

Note down some of the developments: On March 1, the Antilia case investigation was taken away from Sachin Vaze, on March 2, Vaze made the digital video recordings in his housing society taken away by some policemen, the same day Vaze got a letter written on behalf of Mansukh fearing his life, on March 3, the letter was sent to the Police Commissioner, CM and Home Minister, on March 4 Mansukh went missing, and on March 5, his dead body was found in a creek. Can all these be mere coincidences?

After going through all evidence and statements, there is not an iota of doubt that Sachin Vaze was deeply involved in the Antilia explosives and Mansukh murder cases. His lawyer can say all these could be coincidences, but the fact is that all these coincidences point towards one man: Sachin Vaze.

To allege that a police officer can hatch a conspiracy, commit a crime, and make evidence disappear, is not a big deal. These can happen. But from where did he gather so much confidence and courage to carry out these crimes? It would be difficult for Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to give a well-reasoned reply in defence of Sachin Vaze. The CM cannot deny that Vaze was suspended from service 16 years ago, he cannot deny that Vaze joined the Shiv Sena, the CM cannot deny that it was his government that reinstated Vaze in service after 16 years, he cannot deny that not only was Vaze reinstated but the investigation of many important cases was handed over to him. So now that Vaze’s name has cropped up in the Antilia explosives case, it has become difficult not only for Shiv Sena but also its allies NCP and Congress to give a cogent reply.

There is no doubt that the parking of explosives outside Mukesh Ambani’s house and the death of Vaze’s businessman friend linked to this case are part of a big conspiracy hatched by none other than the assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze. But the motive is still unclear. What did Sachin Vaze want to achieve?

There is no definite answer to this question, but one view is that a small-time police officer had indeed big plans. He wanted to intimidate India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani. That is why the vehicle was parked outside Ambani’s house filled with gelatin sticks, and a letter was kept inside a Mumbai Indians bag, addressed to Neeta Ambani as ‘Bhabhi’. In the letter, the threat that was made was very clear. The letter said, this is only a trailer, all other arrangements are ready. So the motive behind this was: extortion, preceded by threat?  

But the strangest part is still unanswered: How did a small-time police officer gather the courage to intimidate India’s top industrialist by planting explosives outside his house?

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