The ATS is probing the alleged murder of Hiran and has treated Vimla’s statement as an FIR. She also claimed Waze had told Hiran to claim responsibility in the explosives case and assured him that he would secure his release from jail in case he was arrested. She said they consulted a lawyer who advised them against it and added that Hiran was under tremendous stress. The ATS is now trying to figure out what the motive behind Waze’s decision could be. Hiran’s body was found floating in a Mumbra creek on Thursday.
In her three-page statement to the ATS, Vimala has said Waze had been using the same SUV for the past four months. Waze and her husband knew each other, she claimed. Waze declined to comment when electronic media tried to get a response from him.
Meanwhile, an NIA team on Tuesday met senior ATS officials and collected documents pertaining to the explosive case. The Union home ministry had on Monday asked the NIA to take over the probe into the planting of explosives.
Vimla said her husband had purchased the car from one Peter Newton. The vehicle was, however, given to Waze, a regular client of Hiran’s, in November last year; Hiran has an automobiles accessories shop in Thane. On February 5, Waze had sent the car back with his driver to Hiran’s garage for servicing. When Hiran took the car for a drive on February 17, the steering jammed and he parked it on Airoli-Mulund Link Road, from where the car was allegedly stolen. A week later, the car was found parked outside Antilia with gelatin sticks.
In the FIR, Vimla further alleged that it was Waze who insisted that Hiran should draft a complaint saying policemen and the media were harassing him. On March 2, Hiran had submitted a complaint to various authorities, including the commissioners of police in Mumbai and Thane detailing the alleged harassment. On March 4, Hiran returned home early and said he would be stepping out to meet one Tawde at Ghodbunder Road in Thane. She said Hiran left his home around 8.30 pm and when she called him at around 11 pm, his two mobiles were found switched off. Her brother-in-law Vinod then called up Waze, who wondered how Hiran went to meet a policeman without informing him. Next day the family lodged a missing complaint with Naupada police.
On March 5, her son Meet said he received a call from Mumbra police saying his father’s body had been found in the creek. When Meet and Vinod went to identify Hiran’s body at Kalwa hospital, they noticed handkerchiefs inside the Covid mask. She said it was impossible that her husband died of drowning as he was a good swimmer. She said Hiran had worn a gold chain, a finger ring, wrist watch and carried a purse, mobile phone with two SIM cards and five ATM cards besides other identification documents which were missing. Police suspect this has been done to mislead the investigation.
The ATS team on Monday recorded the statement of Waze. ATS officials said on Tuesday that they may summon him in a day or two. “As Waze’s name has been mentioned in the FIR, we will question him about allegations made by Hiran’s wife. We are scanning the CCTV footage to gather more details about Hiran’s movement after he left home on March 4,” said an official.
Officials said they are trying to find out Waze’s location when the SUV was found abandoned, and on the night of March 4, when Hiran left his home. ATS teams are looking for Hiran’s cellphone as well as the Innova car, which was tailing the SUV on February 25. From the CCTV footage, it is clear the Innova’s bumpers were not painted, which is common among vehicles used by policemen and state government officials, an ATS official said.