Antilla (Representative image: Reuters)
A terror angle has not been ruled out by the crime branch, which is probing the case of the vehicle with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence in south Mumbai.
A Scorpio with around 2.5 kg of gelatin sticks was found parked on Carmichael Road near 'Antilia', the multi-storey residence of Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries, in the evening on February 25. There was no assembled explosive device with detonators and batteries inside the car, police said.
Following this, the police are probing all aspects, including the possibility of a terror plot, reported The Times of India.
When there is a terror attack or terror organisations are involved, they often claim responsibility, said the report citing a senior official. “Twenty-four hours have passed, nobody has claimed, but that does not rule out the terror angle,” the official was quoted as saying.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has also started a parallel probe and contacted the Mumbai police crime branch, according to a senior official.
The NIA has recorded the statement of a businessman Hiren Mansukh, the owner of the vehicle.
"The owner of the vehicle (Scorpio), Hiren Mansukh, visited the police commissioner's office in south Mumbai this afternoon after he saw visuals of the SUV found near Ambani's house, which was similar to his vehicle," the police official said on February 26.
Mansukh, a resident of neighbouring Thane, told reporters that he had parked the SUV near Airoli Mulund Bridge on February 17 after its steering got jammed while he was on his way to attend a family function.
"The next day, when I went to get my car, it could not be found....following which I lodged a complaint at Vikhroli police station," he said.
CCTV footage showed that the SUV was parked there in the early hours of February 25, and its driver left in an Innova, which had accompanied it to the spot.
Besides gelatin sticks, a letter was also found in the SUV, in Hindi but written in the English alphabets and purportedly threatening Ambani, his wife Nita and the family, police said.
This was only a "Jhalak" (glimpse) but the next time the "saaman" (explosives) will be fully assembled, the letter said. The letter was in a blue bag next to the driver's seat, while the gelatin sticks were kept in a packet with the name of its manufacturer, "Solar Industries, Nagpur". Also a bag with ‘Mumbai Indians' printed on it was found in the car.
Mumbai police have formed at least 10 teams to probe the case.
Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd(With inputs from PTI)