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Threat Calls To Gadkari: Agencies Grill Terror Convict Afsar Pasha Over His Past Visit To Nagpur

Pasha was grilled for more than six hours to find out details about his purported visit to Nagpur in 2003-04, the officer said.

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Union minister Nitin Gadkari
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Officials of NIA, ATS, and IB questioned terror case convict Afsar Pasha in Nagpur over two days as part of the investigation into threat calls made to Union minister Nitin Gadkari allegedly by gangster Jayesh Pujari, a police officer said on Tuesday.

Investigators suspect Pujari made the threat calls after colluding and planning with Pasha.

Pasha was grilled for more than six hours to find out details about his purported visit to Nagpur in 2003-04, the officer said.

He was brought to Nagpur from the Belagavi jail by local police in connection with the threat call probe.

"Officials of NIA, ATS, and IB questioned Bashiruddin Noor Ahmed alias Afsar Pasha for more than six hours on Monday and Tuesday. However, Pasha is reluctant to share his past plans with the agencies. Pasha had reportedly come to Nagpur in 2003-04. The agencies are connecting the dots of threat phone calls made to Gadkari (by Pujari) with Pasha's visit to Nagpur in the past," the officer said.

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Police had earlier claimed to have found links between Pasha and Pujari, also known as Kantha and Shakir, during their stay in the Belagavi jail.

Prima facie, investigators suspect Pasha had come to Nagpur by train and stayed in central Nagpur in 2003-04, the police officer said. 

Pasha was involved in the December 2005 terror attack at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru and currently serving life imprisonment in Belagavi jail.

Pujari allegedly made a threatening call to Gadkari’s public relations office in Nagpur on January 14, demanding Rs 100 crore and claiming to be a member of the Dawood Ibrahim gang. At that time, he was lodged in a jail in neighbouring Karnataka, police had said.

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He made another call on March 21, threatening to harm the BJP Lok Sabha member from Nagpur if Rs 10 crore were not paid to him.

Pujari was arrested and brought to Nagpur on March 28 from jail in Belagavi, and the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was invoked against him.

A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team in May visited Nagpur to investigate the threat calls.     

The Central agency had launched an investigation into the terror angle in the case after receiving the green signal from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

-With PTI Input

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