In what could be described as a “setback” for the Delhi police, a phone number provided by Facebook that the cops thought belonged to the person who threatened journalist Sagarika Ghose, writers Shobhaa De and Arundhati Roy and activists Kavitha Krishnan and Shehla Rashid was found to have no links to the accused.
The Indian Express reported that the number belonged to a resident of Meghalaya who, the police found, had no connection to the threats posted online after the murder of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru last year.
The contact details given by the accused while making his account on Facebook were fake, the police said, the report added. Sources in the Cyber Cell of the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing told the newspaper that days after lodging an FIR, the police asked them to share the IP address of an account under the name ‘VirkamAditya Rana’. Later, the account was deleted.
However, the website only gave police a phone number, which the user had provided at the time of making a profile. The police treated this as a major breakthrough, and before sending a team, they scanned call detail records of the person, and it emerged that he had no links with the said post or the profile it was made from, the daily report added.
In September last year, the Delhi Police registered an FIR against the man. The FIR was registered following a complaint from Ghose, whose name appeared in the list of women which include De, Roy, Krishnan and Rashid.
“We have registered an FIR after receiving a complaint from Sagarika Ghose under the Information Technology (IT) Act. She, in her complaint, stated that she saw an open threat posts from a man who had two different accounts on the names of ‘Vikram Aditya Rana and Vikramjb Rana’ at social networking site Facebook. He is a native of Shillong,” deputy commissioner of police Anyesh Roy had told IANS earlier.
On the day, noted Kannada woman journalist Gauri Lankesh gunned down by unknown assailants outside her residence in Bengaluru, Rana had written a vituperative post on his Facebook wall, praising her killers, he said. “.... Serves her; her kind right for d damages these so called journos have caused our nation.Sagarkia Ghose; Arundhati Roy ,Kavitha Krishnan ,Shiela Rashid ,Umar Khalid ,Kanhaiyya should be at d top of d list now,” Rana had posted,” said Roy.
In another post, he wrote: “Let d shooting of #GauriLankesh serve as example to those antinationals who masquerade as journalists & activists. I hope this is not d last in a should be episode of serial assassinations of all anti nationals . Shobha De ;Arundhati Roy ;Sagarika Ghose ;Kavitha Krishnan ;Shiela Rashid etc at d end of a list that should start with antinational; treacherous politicians . A hit list be prepared & eliminate all those on d list .At last a ray of hope.”