The Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday handed over the inquiry into the death of auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiran to the National Investigating Agency, reported the Hindustan Times. Hiran is the owner of the explosives-laden SUV found outside the residence of Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai on February 25.

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad also arrested two men on Saturday night for their alleged involvement in Hiran’s death, PTI reported. The two accused have been identified as Vinayak Shinde and Naresh Dhare. Shinde is a convict in Lakhan Bhaiya fake encounter case, while Dhare is a bookie.

“Both the accused were on Saturday called to the ATS headquarters for questioning in connection with the case and later placed under arrest,” an official told PTI.

A court in Thane on Sunday sent both Shinde and Dhare to the anti-terror squad custody till March 30, according to ANI.

The inquiry in Hiren’s death case was given to the central investigation agency under Section 8 of the NIA Act which says that any connecting offence related to scheduled offence already under investigation can also be taken over by it. The NIA was investigating the bomb threat to the Ambanis while the Maharashtra Police’s Anti-terrorism Squad was looking into Hiran’s death.

The central agency will re-register the first information report by the Mumbai Police in the case and take over case files as well as the autopsy report.

Hiran was found dead in a creek near Mumbai on March 5. His wife Hiran has alleged that Sachin Vaze, the first investigating officer in the bomb scare case, had used the car found outside Ambani’s residence for four months and returned it on February 5. She had also accused Vaze of having a role in her husband’s death.

After the bomb scare case was transferred to the central agency, it had summoned Vaze for questioning. On March 14, the NIA had told a court that prima facie it appears Vaze was driving a car that was seen escorting the SUV with explosives on February 25. The central agency had made the statement while seeking Vaze’s custody. Vaze was arrested on March 13 and remanded to NIA’s custody till March 25.

Earlier this week, the central agency had also seized the black Mercedes, which was allegedly driven by Vaze, as well as Rs 5 Lakh in cash, a note-counting machine and some clothes.

Shiv Sena takes dig at Centre over transfer of case to NIA

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut took a dig at the Centre over the transfer of Hiran’s death investigation, saying that it must also bring the Central Intelligence Agency, Unites States intelligence service, and KGB, the former Russian secret agency, into the case.

Raut also accused the Centre of finding opportunities to create trouble for the Maharashtra government. “... but no matter which agency comes and however they investigate it does not affect the government,” he said. “Let them bring CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] and KGB as well to investigate.”

The Sena leader also said the Mumbai Police and Maharashtra ATS were capable to “investigate such cases or any case for that matter”.