Antilia explosives case, Mansukh Hiran murder: Bookie Naresh Gor granted bail

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Saturday granted bail to cricket bookie Naresh Gor, who was arrested on March 21 in connection with the Antilia explosive scare and the subsequent murder of Thane trader Mansukh Hiran.

Gor is accused of supplying five SIM cards to the main accused – dismissed assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze. Some of the SIM cards were purportedly used by the accused persons for communication during the commission of the crimes.

NIA had claimed that Gor was part of the larger conspiracy hatched by Vaze along with the other accused to eliminate Hiran – the owner of the explosives-laden car that was found abandoned near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence Antilia.

Gor’s counsel, advocate Aniket Nikam, had argued that it was Vaze who had summoned his client’s employer to his office at Mumbai Police commisionerate and had asked him to supply dummy SIM cards to them. Vaze had told the employer that the SIM cards were required by the police for a secret operation which was never disclosed either to Gor or his employer.

Nikam added that Gor had never spoken to Vaze nor was there any call data record (CDR) to that effect. Gor’s employer was threatened by Vaze and coerced to provide some SIM cards, following which the cricket bookie procured them, claimed Nikam, adding that the cards were used by Vaze and others for getting the Thane trader killed.

“Gor never knew why the SIM cards were being required by Vaze. Before charging any person with conspiracy, the end objective should be known to the accused who is to be charged. There is nothing on record with NIA to show that Gor was even aware of the conspiracy,” Nikam submitted.

Opposing the bail application, NIA said, “Gaur was a part of the larger conspiracy hatched by Vaze along with former Mumbai Police personnel Sunil Mane and Vinayak Shinde.”

The federal agency further claimed that the SIM cards used by the accused were provided by Gor and were used to call Hiran and bring him out of his house, and later he was killed.

However, judge AT Wankhede of the NIA court granted bail to Gor in the case.

Previously, the case was being probed by the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS). Later, NIA took over the case from ATS.

On February 25, a green Mahindra Scorpio was found abandoned near Antilia on Carmichael Road in south Mumbai with 20 loose gelatin sticks and a note threatening to kill members of the Ambani family.

Hiran’s body was found on March 5 in a creek at Reti Bunder near Mumbra.

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Jitendra Kumar

Jitendra Kumar Born on October 10, 1990 an Indian author and activist from Hathras in Uttar Pradesh.