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Man threatens to immolate self if T20 matches continue amid Covid surge, probe initiated

On Saturday, an audio clip of the purported conversation between the caller and the police inspector KV Patel surfaced on social media, wherein the former is heard asking the officer whether the coronavirus-related guidelines issued by the state government were being followed at the Narendra Modi Stadium for spectators.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
Updated: March 15, 2021 6:55:47 pm
Narendra Modi StadiumNarendra Modi Stadium where the T20 matches between India and England are being held. (File photo)

An investigation has been initiated after a person called a police inspector, who is a part of the security arrangement for the ongoing international cricket T20 tournament between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad’s Motera, and threatened self-immolation if the upcoming matches were not cancelled in view of the rising Covid-19 cases in the city. The five-match series, which began on March 12, has seen a huge crowd turnout at the stadium.

According to the police, an FIR was lodged at Chandkheda police station in Ahmedabad after a caller, identifying himself as Pankaj Patel from Gandhinagar, called up senior police inspector KV Patel of Chandkheda PS on March 12 and threatened to immolate himself if the T20 matches between India and England continued. KV Patel is part of security arrangements at Motera stadium for the tournament.

On Saturday, an audio clip of the purported conversation between the caller and the police inspector KV Patel surfaced on social media, wherein the former is heard asking the officer whether the coronavirus-related guidelines issued by the state government were being followed at the Narendra Modi Stadium for spectators. As the officer purportedly says social-distancing guidelines are not being followed, the caller demands that the ongoing matches be cancelled. The latter also threatens to immolate himself saying that over 75,000 people are attending the matches at the newly inaugurated stadium which can pose a health risk. The caller allegedly also used abusive words for the Gujarat Chief Minister and his deputy, saying they have failed to curb the new surge in Covid-19 cases.

Police have booked the accused under IPC sections 505 (2) for trying to promote enmity, hatred, or ill will between classes, 504 for intentional insult, and 507 for criminal intimidation through anonymous communication.

“The man had called on my cell phone on March 12 and threatened to immolate himself if the matches are held. He also used abusive words for the Gujarat government, the Chief Minister, and the Deputy Chief Minister. When I asked his name, he told me he is Pankaj Patel from Gandhinagar. I immediately called up Gandhinagar police control room and shared his phone number with the officials,” K V Patel stated in the FIR.

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