MUMBAI: Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Devendra Fadnavis claimed on Wednesday that Thane-based auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiran's death was a "carefully planned murder".
Speaking to reporters outside the legislative complex, Fadnavis also alleged that the Shiv Sena-led state government does not want a free and fair probe in the case for fear that some "higher-ups" in the government will be exposed.
"The death of Mansukh Hiran was a carefully planned murder.
Only someone well-versed in the nuances of police investigation could have done it," the BJP leader said.
Hiran, who was in possession of the SUV which was found with explosives outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house in south Mumbai on February 25, was found dead in a creek in Thane on March 5.
Fadnavis also claimed that the government could seek the resignation of forest minister and Sena leader Sanjay Rathod in the Puja Chavan suicide case because Rathod could not have posed any threat to the government "unlike API Vaze who knows many secrets".
Earlier in the day, home minister Anil Deshmukh announced in the Legislative Council that assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze, against whom Hiran's wife has leveled allegations, has been transferred from Crime Intelligence Unit.
Fadnavis claimed that the government transferred the police officer only to save its skin.
"But we will continue to fight for action against him based on the prima facie evidence against him and till Hiran gets justice," the BJP leader said.
The former chief minister also claimed that Vaze, who had been suspended in the Khwaja Yunus encounter case, was reinstated by overruling the court directions "so that he could be of help during the pandemic".
"How he could be of help was seen in the present case," Fadnavis quipped.
He also alleged that the police officer, who had joined the Shiv Sena in 2008, continues to be its member.