NIA to investigate explosives recovered near Ambani’s residence

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the case of a vehicle laden with explosives being found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence in Mumbai, an official spokesperson said on Monday. The NIA took over the case following orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs, he said.

The NIA is currently in the process of registering a case, after which a team will visit the spot and examine the Scorpio, people familiar with the development said. The state’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) was investigating the matter till now.

On Monday, NIA officials said they will also examine the forensic evidence linked to Hiren and may take over the probe into his death as well in the coming days.

A Mahindra Scorpio sports utility vehicle (SUV), with 20 gelatin sticks inside, was found near Ambani’s high-rise south Mumbai home on February 25. Police said the vehicle was stolen from Airoli-Mulund Bridge on February 18. Last Friday, the owner of the vehicle, Mansukh Hiren, was found dead in a creek in Thane, sparking a political row with the opposition BJP demanding that the case be handed over to the NIA.

A week later, the body of Hiren, the Scorpio owner, was recovered from Kalwa Creek (on March 5), hours after his family reported him missing. Hiren had reported the theft of his car on February 18. The Mumbai Police has registered a case of murder and criminal conspiracy in Hiren’s death.

Speaking in the Maharashtra Assembly on Monday, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said the police were capable of solving the case of Mansukh Hiran’s death and the bomb scare near the residence of Ambani. “Both the investigations are in right direction. After a complaint by Hiren’s wife, a case of murder has been registered against unknown persons,” he said.

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