LUCKNOW: BJP MLA Pankaj Singh, son of Union Minister Rajnath Singh, on Saturday claimed that he has received a death threat on WhatsApp. The Uttar Pradesh minister has informed the police about the threat.
Earlier this week, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had ordered a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the extortion threats received by at least 12 MLAs, most of them belonging to the ruling BJP.
Media reports suggest that these MLAs have received phone calls and WhatsApp messages threatening them of dire consequences if they did not shell out Rs 10 lakh. The MLAs claimed that they have received text and WhatsApp messages asking them to pay Rs 10 lakh or their families will be eliminated within three days.
Veer Vikram Singh (Meeranpur Katra in Shahjahanpur), Manvendra Singh (Dadraul in Shahjahanpur), Prem Prakash Pandey (Tarabganj in Gonda), Vinay Kumar Dwivedi (Mehnam in Gonda), Vinod Katiyar (Bhognipur in Kanpur), Shahshank Trivedi (Mahauli in Sitapur), Anita Rajput (Debai in Bulandshahr) are among those who have received threats calls.
Taking cognizance of the matter, CM Adityanath had directed the Special Task Force (STF) and the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) to act swiftly in this regard.
The extortion threats were reportedly issued in the name of a gangster who once had worked with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
According to police, others including a journalist in Bhopal have also received such threats messages in the recent past. However, to them, the matter appears to be a planned conspiracy to create panic.
The calls were made from a land-line number registered in Texas which perhaps has a WhatsApp facility. The UP Police have obtained the IP address which was used to send threatening messages to the MLAs.
Police further informed that such messages were also forwarded to film personalities in the 1990s. The gangster in question once worked with Dawood Ibrahim but the two later fell out.
In all the messages, the caller identified himself as Ali Budesh Bhai from Dubai.
(With inputs from agencies)