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Under fire, Teni blackmail target: 5 held for threatening him with new ‘son video’

🔴 According to cops, they received a complaint from Mishra’s staff that he received a call from unknown persons threatening to release a video related to the incident or to give Rs 2.5 crore to settle the matter.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi |
Updated: December 25, 2021 7:19:59 am
Union Home Minister for State Ajay Mishra Teni (Express photo)

HIS SON facing murder charges in the Lakhimpuri Kheri incident, and calls for his resignation growing louder by the day, Union MoS (Home) Ajay Mishra’s troubles have now taken a bizarre turn.

On Thursday night, Delhi Police arrested five men, including the owner of a Noida-based call centre, for allegedly making 40 calls to the Minister’s PA this month, demanding Rs 2.5 crore and threatening to release a video related to the killing of four farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3.

“During investigation on a complaint from the Minister’s staff, we found that calls were made over VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), which is not easy to trace. They made 40 calls from December 17 to December 23. They were mostly calling from a park in Noida’s Sector 15. In the first call, the caller asked the PA to connect him to the Minister, who refused to talk,” a senior police officer said.

“They had even called on Thursday afternoon, around 3.30 pm,” the officer said. Those arrested have been identified as Kabir Verma, Amit Majhi, Nishant Kumar, Ashwani Kumar and Amit Kumar, who runs the call centre.

Over the last week, with the help of technical surveillance, the police found that the callers were using VoIP gateways from the US and Romania. “A Delhi Police team approached the embassies concerned in New Delhi for help. Soon, we found that some of the calls were made from Amit Kumar’s office in Noida. A raid was conducted and all the accused were arrested,” the officer said.

During questioning, Amit Kumar allegedly revealed that his friend Kabir, who works as insurance agent, approached him with the idea of extorting money from the MoS. “Kabir asked his assistants, Amit Majhi and Nishant, to make the calls to Mishra’s office. Mishra did not carry a phone so they started calling his PA. Kabir promised them Rs 10,000 each,” police sources said.

During investigation, police found that Ashwini, who is a technical expert, was allegedly a part of the conspiracy, too. “Kabir got the idea after watching the news on TV about the incident in Lakhimpur Kheri. Police have recovered a hard disc from the accused,” the officer said.

On Friday, the accused were produced before a Delhi court and sent to police custody for three days. They face multiple charges, including extortion and criminal intimidation, based on the FIR filed at the North Avenue Police Station in Central Delhi.

Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra and 12 others are in jail for the October 3 incident in Lakhimpur Kheri where four farmers were killed after they were hit by a convoy of three cars, including one owned by the Union MoS. The family of a journalist present at the spot has said that he, too, died in the incident.

Ashish Mishra’s bail plea is slated to be heard by the Allahabad High Court next month.

Facing repeated calls for his resignation, including by all Opposition parties in Parliament, the Union MoS has been keeping a low profile since the October incident, skipping several public events and official functions.

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