A US-BASED telecom service provider was used by Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, chief of banned pro-Khalistan group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), to make pre-recorded threat calls to several Supreme Court lawyers on the day the apex court was to hear the case related to the security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab on January 5, Delhi Police has found in its probe. The police are now procuring more details under a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) with the US, The Indian Express has learnt.
“During investigation, we initially found that calls were made using a US-based telecom service firm. We then approached them and they provided details of an account holder, who had booked the account to make all these calls. All the documents belonged to Pannu, but the account holder’s name was not Pannu,” a senior police officer said.
Later, after multiple communications with the service provider, the police were told that the account holder had changed his name to Pannu. It was found that the firm intimated the account holder about the probe following which he changed his name.
“After establishing Pannu’s role, the police are now procuring more details under MLAT and communicating with the concerned agency for further help,” an officer said.
Although the Delhi Police had registered several FIRs against Pannu for sending threat messages, this is the first time they have found his “direct involvement”.
The development comes months after the Delhi Police registered the first FIR in connection with the threat calls.
In January, shortly before the Supreme Court took up a petition seeking a probe into the breach of the Prime Minister’s security, some lawyers of the top court complained of receiving pre-recorded messages from a number registered outside India. The messages accepted responsibility for blocking the PM’s convoy in Punjab and warned the court against doing anything that will help the government.
Deepak Prakash, an advocate on record, also lodged a criminal complaint with Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana in this connection. In a communication, he said the “callers have claimed themselves to be a group from the United Kingdom and are calling from untraceable numbers…”.
“All Advocates have been receiving such threatening calls, which indicate that they want to bring hatred, contempt and hostility to disrupt the government and public peace and tranquility if the Hon’ble Supreme Court hears the PM security breach case,” he wrote.
Asthana asked the northern range of the Special Cell to investigate the matter following which it lodged an FIR.