Threat calls to Gadkari: Nagpur police to file chargesheet as case yet to be transferred to NIA


PTI, Jun 28, 2023, 5:19 PM IST

The Nagpur police will file the chargesheet in a case registered under anti-terror law UAPA in connection with threatening phone calls made to Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, a senior police official said on Wednesday.

A special NIA court in Nagpur on Monday accepted the request of the city police seeking 50 more days to file the chargesheet after the case could not be transferred to the National Investigation (NIA), he said. The NIA tried to transfer the case, registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA, at the Dhantoli police station here, and filed applications before special NIA courts in Bangalore and Nagpur, the official said. However, both courts rejected the applications and directed the federal agency to approach the Supreme Court, according to a senior police official. “The NIA is yet to file the application with the Apex court, leaving the UAPA case in the hands of the city police,” said the official.

The prime accused in the case has been identified as murder-convict Jayesh Pujari, alias Kantha, who was already behind bars. He was taken into custody by the Nagpur police from a jail in Karnataka.

Following the registration of the case here, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notification instructing the NIA to investigate the matter. The offence was initially registered in Bangalore, and the NIA’s Mumbai unit was told to handle the investigation.

In late May, a special investigation team led by a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) was also stationed in Nagpur to pursue the case. However, procedural delays hindered further progress in the investigation, the official said.

Identifying himself as a member of the Dawood Ibrahim gang Pujari on January 14 made a threatening call to Gadkari’s public relations office in Nagpur, demanding Rs 100 crore, according to the police. At that time, he was already in jail. Pujari made another call on March 21, threatening to harm the BJP Lok Sabha MP if Rs 10 crore was not paid to him, the police had said. Pujari was brought to Nagpur on March 28 from a jail in Belagavi city of Karnataka, and the stringent UAPA was invoked against him. NIA launched an investigation as Pujari had relations with terrorists, including Lashkar-e-Taiba’s South Division chief Captain Naseer, an official had said earlier. The murder convict had also taken arms training in the North-East, he had claimed.

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