Mumbai/Delhi: Interrogation of Mumbai Police "encounter specialist" Sachin Vaze in the Ambani security scare case points towards a deep-rooted conspiracy involving a few "powerful" persons.

Assistant Police Inspector (API) Sachin Vaze, seen close to the top leadership of Shiv Sena, has been in touch with "powerful" persons during the period he hatched a conspiracy to plant a gelatin sticks-laden SUV near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house in Mumbai, sources in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said.

While NIA officials remained tight-lipped over revealing Vaze's "powerful" connection, BJP spokesperson and legislator Ram Kadam said that the controversial cop is patronised by Shiv Sena leadership and he cannot execute the crime to scare the top business house of the country without the tacit backing of the ruling party.

"NIA is questioning him (Vaze) on the conspiracy part. The truth will be out in days to come," Kadam told IANS adding," despite Sachin Vaze's arrest, the Maharashtra government has not yet suspended the tainted police officer. The ruling party and Vaze obviously seem hand-in-glove".

The 49-year-old encounter specialist has not been arrested for the first time. In 2004, he was booked in a controversial custodial murder case in Mumbai. He later resigned from the police department in 2007 and joined the Shiv Sena.

"As his resignation was not accepted, his services were not terminated. When Shiv Sena returned to power in Mumbai, Sachin Vaze was reinstated in police service in June 2020. Obviously Vaze was seen as the most powerful officer in the Shiv Sena led Maha Vikas Aghadi government," revealed a former police officer who served with Vaze earlier in the Mumbai Crime Branch.

Once perceived as the hero of the Mumbai Crime Branch, Vaze eliminated more than 63 dreaded criminals including gangsters related to Dawood Ibrahim' notorious D-company. During the mid-1990s, Vaze joined Andheri Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) led by encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma. Another leading encounter specialist Daya Nayak was also part of Pradeep Sharma's team. The trio, who fought with underworld gangs on the streets of Mumbai, inspired many filmmakers like Ram Gopal Verma to script Bollywood hits like "Ab Tak Chappan" and "Company".

However several controversial encounters including the mysterious death of Khwaja Younus, named in a bomb blast case, saw the encounter specialists being placed on suspension. Vaze also had a fall from grace, when on orders of the court in 2004, a case of murder was registered against him in matter related to death of an accused in police custody.

During the present Maha Vikas Aghadi rule, Vaze was handling most of the sensitive cases. As the head of the CIU of Mumbai Crime Branch, he investigated the high profile TRP scam case and arrested 15 accused linked with broadcast and TV rating agencies. Vaze was also part of a police team which arrested Republic TV owner Arnab Goswami in a suicide case. Busting an inter state car scam, Vaze also arrested famous car designer Dilip Chhabria.

While Vaze will be further questioned and confronted with documentary evidence related to the threat case by the NIA during remand which has been extended till March 25, the Shiv Sena has said that there was no need of NIA to investigate the case relating to recovery of explosives from a SUV parked near Ambani's house.

Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that Vaze was a competent and honest officer and there was no need for the NIA to step in the probe.