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Arrest mastermind in Antilia bomb scare case: Maharashtra Minister

Aday after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested former top Mumbai policeman Pradeep Sharma in the Antilia bomb scare case and the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiren, senior NCP leader and ​Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif alleged there was a mastermind, who was apparently controlling Mr. Sharma and assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze, who was arrested three months ago in connection with the same case.

Hinting at former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh as the possible “mastermind”, Mr. Mushrif demanded his arrest while further alleging that the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was apparently trying to protect this “force” behind the two arrested policemen.

“When an explosive-laden SUV was found parked outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence ‘Antilia’, I had demanded that the probe agencies arrest the mastermind in this case. While Sachin Vaze was arrested three months ago and the NIA took action against Pradeep Sharma yesterday [on Thursday], these two could not have the daring to carry out such a big racket. Another force lurks behind them which the BJP is trying to shield,” claimed Mr. Mushrif, speaking in Kolhapur.

Quota issue

The Minister further chastised the BJP for dubbing BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sambhaji Chhatrapati’s meeting with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on the Maratha reservation issue “a trap”.

The MP, a royal from Kolhapur and a direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji, had launched the first of his silent sit-ins seeking reservation for the Maratha community in Kolhapur on June 16 .

“Detractors of the State government’s efforts in resolving the Maratha quota imbroglio are calling Sambhaji Chhatrapati’s meeting with the Chief Minister a trap. How can this be so? The issue has to be resolved through discussions in a legal manner. Even Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) leader Prakash Ambedkar, who participated in Sambhajiraje’s silent agitation, said the Maratha community would not get reservation unless the Constitution was amended. And this makes it a Central government issue,” Mr. Mushrif said.

All top leaders from the district, including Mr. Mushrif, had joined Mr. Sambhajiraje’s Kolhapur rally, after which the State government invited the MP and Maratha outfit coordinators for parleys with the Chief Minister and other Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders.

At the meeting, Mr. Thackeray is believed to have reassured the MP that the State government would be filing a review petition in the matter in the Supreme Court coming Thursday.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 2:47:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/arrest-mastermind-in-antilia-bomb-scare-case-maharashtra-minister/article34854180.ece

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