Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader CT Ravi on Saturday took a dig at the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA)--a tripartite government comprising of Shiv Sena, Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra--over the death of Mansukh Hiren.
Ravi questioned if Hiren's death was suicide or murder. He tweeted, "Mansukh Hiren, owner of the Scorpio that was packed with gelatin sticks and parked near Mukesh Ambani's Antilla has been found dead in mysterious circumstances. Is it Suicide or Murder?" He added, "Will Maharashtra Vinashak Aghadi CM @OfficeofUT order for a NIA probe to let truth come out?"
For the uninitiated, Maharashtra Police on Friday said that an unknown male corpse was found in Retibunder Creek on Retibunder road in Mumbra (W). Later the corpse was identified as Hiren, a resident of Thane whose stolen vehicle with gelatin sticks was found parked on Carmichael Road near Ambani's residence Antilia. Police said prima facie it appears that Hiren died by suicide.
On February 25, Hiren's stolen SUV was found parked near Ambani's residence. Reportedly, it contained explosive material, and a handwritten "threat letter" in "broken English" addressed to Ambani and his wife Neeta. The suspect who parked the SUV was seen in the CCTV footage but has not been identified as he was wearing a face mask and his head was covered with a hoodie, said the Mumbai Police.
Meanwhile, BJP leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday demanded a probe by the NIA in the case. Addressing media persons, Fadnavis said, "I had demanded the security for Hiren in the Legislative Assembly along with the NIA probe in the matter. Now after the suicide of Hiren, the suspicion intensifies. I demand an NIA probe in the matter."
However, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut slammed the Opposition for demanding an NIA probe and said that no one should try to capitalise on Hiren's death.
"If there are any issues raised by the Opposition in the Hiren death case, it should be investigated. If the Opposition provides information on the case, it should be investigated. But I do not think it is right to put the government in the cage of the accused before the investigation is completed. But no one should try to capitalise on his death," Raut said while interacting with reporters.
"This death of a key witness during the investigation is shocking and unfortunate. There is a public suspicion of whether Hiren was murdered or committed suicide. This doubt needs to be dispelled. What is the reason for his death? Who is responsible for it? The sooner the Home Ministry reveals the truth about all this, the better it will be for the image and reputation of the government," he added.
Asking about the Opposition's demand of handing over the case to the NIA, Raut said, "There is no need to hand over this investigation to NIA. Mumbai Police is capable. Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has handed over the probe to the ATS. All the officers are good."
Deshmukh on Friday had said that the case has been transferred to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra Police.