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Man who made threat call to Gadkari's office is inmate of Belagavi jail: Police

The man has been handed death sentence in murder case

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari | PTI Union Minister Nitin Gadkari | PTI

The caller who made threatening calls to the Nagpur office of Union minister Nitin Gadkari and demanded Rs 100 crore is an inmate of a jail in Belagavi city of Karnataka who was sentenced to death by a court in a murder case in the past, police said on Sunday.

The caller, who had claimed he was a member of the Dawood Ibrahim gang, has been identified as Jayesh Pujari. Prime facie, he made the call using a mobile phone from the jail, a senior officer said.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the motive of the caller is under investigation and the Karnataka Police are extending assistance.

A crime branch team of Nagpur Police led by an assistant inspector reached Belagavi late Saturday night. The team is likely to request the jail administration to allow them to question Pujari on Monday, the officer said.

At least three threat calls were received on the landline number of Gadkari's Public Relations office in Khamla area in Nagpur between 11.25 am to 12.30 pm on Saturday, following which security was strengthened at the home and office of the Nagpur MP who belongs to the BJP.

"Pujari was sentenced to death by a court in a murder case. He is a dreaded goon who managed to escape from jail in 2016. Later, he was arrested by the Karnataka police," the officer said.

He said Pujari had made threatening calls to some senior officials in the past.

"The caller had told the phone operator at Gadkari's office that he is a member of the D gang and demanded Rs 100 crore from the minister. He threatened to harm the minister with a bomb if his demand is not met," police had said earlier.

Meanwhile, Fadnavis said the investigation into the threat call will continue till the caller's motive was ascertained.

"The Nagpur Police traced the calls to Belgaum. With the help of Karnataka Police, it came to the fore that the call was made from a jail.

"The investigation is on to understand how a mobile phone reached the concerned prison and what was the motive behind making the call," he added.

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