The Shiv Sena on Monday said the arrest of Mumbai police officer Sachin Vaze by the NIA over the recovery of explosives from a car near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence was an "insult" to the Maharashtra Police, and alleged that it was being done deliberately.
An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece Saamana said it is surprising that when the investigative capabilities and bravery of the Maharashtra Police are being acknowledged around the world, the NIA should investigate this case.
“If Vaze was guilty in the case, the Mumbai Police and the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) were capable of taking action against him,” it said.
But, the Central probe agency (NIA) did not want that to happen, the Marathi publication said.
It alleged that since Vaze had arrested journalist Arnab Goswami in the Anvay Naik suicide case, he was on the "hit list of the BJP and the Centre".
Goswami and two others were arrested on November 4 last year by Raigad police in connection with the suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother in 2018. They were granted bail by the Supreme Court a few days later.
The NIA arrested Vaze on Saturday in connection with its probe into the recovery of a Scorpio containing 20 gelatin sticks near Ambani's house in south Mumbai on February 25.
Vaze, credited with eliminating 63 alleged criminals in 'encounters', is also facing the heat in the murder case of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran, who was in possession of the Scorpio. Hiran was found dead in a creek in Thane district on March 5.
The Marathi daily said it is surprising that when the investigative capabilities and bravery of the state police were being acknowledged across the globe, the NIA should investigate the case of the recovery of 20 gelatin sticks.
"Vaze's arrest by the NIA was an insult to the state police and was being done deliberately. Those expressing happiness over this are hurting the state's autonomy," the editorial alleged.
It expressed hope that the truth will come out soon.
The editorial also said the state government had handed over the probe into the recovery of the explosives-laden vehicle and the death of Mansukh Hiran to the ATS. But the Central government deputed the NIA in the explosives case.
There was no hurry to do so, it opined.
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It is still a "mystery" how explosives reached Pulwama (in Jammu and Kashmir) and claimed the lives of 40 jawans (in 2019), the editorial said.
"In the Kashmir valley, explosives are found every day. Does the NIA go there to conduct a probe into it?" the Sena asked.