Nagpur: A man arrested for allegedly issuing threats to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and seeking several crore rupees in extortion was on Friday remanded in police custody till April 24, an official said in Nagpur in Maharashtra.
Jayesh Pujari alias Salim Shahir, who allegedly made the threat calls to Gadkari from inside a jail in neighbouring Karnataka, has been charged with Indian Penal Code sections as well as the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and was being interrogated by senior officials from the city and state police and Central agencies, he said.
Accused taken into custody from Karnataka's Belagavi
Pujari, a murder convict, was taken into custody recently from Hindalga Central Jail in Karnataka's Belagavi district for making threat calls to the public relations office of Gadkari in Nagpur, and two mobile phones and an equal number of SIM cards were seized from him, the official said.
The provisions of UAPA were invoked after a probe found his links to associates of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim, operatives of the al Qaeda, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the banned Popular Front of India, as per police.
The police probe has revealed Pujari was trained in handling improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by terror groups in a north-eastern state.
The official said Pujari has claimed he had converted to Islam and has confessed to making three calls to the public relations office of Gadkari to extort money.
On January 14 this year, Pujari allegedly made a call to Gadkari's office, claiming to be a member of the Dawood gang and demanding Rs 100 crore.
On March 21, he made another call, threatening to harm the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader if Rs 10 crore was not paid, as per police.