Mumbai News : After receiving a series of threatening WhatsApp messages on Friday night, warning the police that 26/11-like attacks will be carried out in the city, the crime branch has identified all the persons whose mobile numbers were mentioned in the messages.
In the messages, these numbers referred to those who are involved in the terror plot.
According to a senior crime branch official, most of the numbers are from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and some of the suspects are already being questioned by the police.
One of the mobile numbers was traced to Virar and was found in the possession of a 26-year-old, who hails from Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh. The man who is a barber had come to Mumbai in the first week of August and was staying at his relative’s place at Virar. The man has claimed that his mobile number was misused earlier as well to threaten a lawyer, said the crime branch officer, adding that they are verifying all his claims.
“It is too early to say anything; we are making inquiries into it. Police are working to find out the IP address of the sender. Several agencies across the country were informed and UP STF has also been questioning a few people based on the mobile number received in the threat messages. It appears that the sender is using a Pakistani number,” added the officer.
Text messages were received on the WhatsApp number of the Mumbai traffic police’s helpline operated from its control room located at Worli around 11pm on Friday. Worli police registered a case of criminal intimidation (section 506-2 of the IPC) against unknown persons.
Mumbai police commissioner Vivek Phansalkar said, “The phone number from which the threats were issued, had a Pakistani SIM card. We are not taking the threat lightly. Any call we receive, we treat it seriously. In the past, several of them have turned out to be hoaxes.”
The series of WhatsApp messages in Hindi began coming in at 10.50 pm onwards. One of the messages claimed that seven Indians were part of a terror plot that would be worse than 26/11. The person also claimed to be from Pakistan. More sensationally, the messenger claimed: “UP ATS karwana chahti hai Mumbai udaana.” (UP ATS wants to create terror in Mumbai).
“The person had also shared 7 numbers of people who are allegedly in on the conspiracy. The messages claimed to unleash various dire scenarios ranging from killing not unlike that of the tailor Kanhaiya Lal at Udaipur for supporting former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s objectionable comment on Prophet Mohammed to carrying out a killing similar to that of singer Sidhu Moosewala’s,” said a police officer.
One of the messages read: ‘Hope you remember the 9/11 attack on the US or should I share the dates. If one Osama Bin Laden or Ajmal Kasab or Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has died, lots of such people are still present.’
The Maharashtra police are already on high alert following the recovery of ammunition on an unmanned yacht found drifting on the Raigad shore.
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