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The Congress on Tuesday said some party MLAs and leaders in Gujarat have received extortion calls from international numbers, and demanded investigation by the Central agencies. Raising the issue in the Legislative Assembly during question hour, the Leader of Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela said around ten MLAs of the Congress recently received threat calls from international numbers by a man claiming to be fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari.
He said the Central agencies should verify and locate the origin of these calls.
“Ten MLAs, including Govabhai Rabari, CK Raulji, Amit Chavda, Chandrikaben Baria, have received threat calls traced to countries like Laos, Algeria, Bolivia, Thailand, Croatia, Bhutan, and Turkey, which is a matter of grave concern,” Vaghela told the House.
He claimed besides his son, party’s Gujarat in-charge Gurudas Kamat too has received such calls.
“The message is such that it will frighten anyone. They (the callers) demanded Rs 10 crore and threatened to kill the person (if the demand is not met). I would request you to ask Central government to verify the calls traced to foreign countries and take the help of secret agencies like RAW to locate the calls. PM (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) should also be told about that,” Vaghela demanded.
Congress MLA CK Raulji (Godhra) said he received calls and messages repeatedly when he was attending the session.
“Last Friday, when the Assembly was on, I received a message from a person calling himself Ravi Pujari who demanded Rs 10 crore and threatened to kill me. When I was on way to Assembly today, I received calls from (phone numbers from) Thailand, Bhutan, Bolivia and Algeria,” he told the Assembly.
His Borsad counterpart Amit Chavda said he too received the calls from Pujari.
Chavda said that he had received a call threatening him to pay Rs 10 crore or meet the fate of councillor Pragnesh Patel who was shot dead in Borsad town.
In his response, the Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja said the police machinery has been activated to trace the origin of the calls and a team was sent to Thailand in connection with the probe into the murder of the Borsad councillor.
“Ravi Pujari is not directly involved. Calls are being made through voice over internet protocol, using cloning of SIM cards to spread terror.
“Gujarat Police are alert about the calls and Central Government has also been contacted on the matter,” the minister said, adding that the accused will be arrested soon.
He said not only the Congress, but the legislators as well as some leaders of the BJP have also received such calls.
“The agencies like the Gujarat ATS, CID (crime), besides the Central agencies are trying to trace these calls. Red corner notices have been issued against the accused,” Jadeja added.