Man ‘cooked-up’ story of IS threat, attack: Police

Man ‘cooked-up’ story of IS threat, attack: Police

Surendranagar-based Mukesh Shukla, who uses prefix such as ‘Doctor’ and ‘Scientist’ before his name, had also made up a story of a chemical attack on him April 21.

Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch, Ahmedabad DCB, IS, IS threat, Surendranagar police, indian express news
Mukesh Shukla

The Cyber Cell of Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) and Surendranagar police on Friday said a man who had recently claimed threats to his life by members of Islamic State as they were behind his research papers on a drug formula for treating HIV/AIDS and other diseases, including Malaria, had cooked-up the story. Surendranagar-based Mukesh Shukla, who uses prefix such as ‘Doctor’ and ‘Scientist’ before his name, had also made up a story of a chemical attack on him April 21. He had told police that he was attacked by three unidentified men when he was returning home, and robbed of Rs 24,000 cash, a 54 GB pen-drive containing his research on HIV, and his Aadhaar card. Following the FIR, the local police sought help from the DCB, Ahmedabad, considering a IS “threat letter” and the chemical attack. Shukla was also provided police protection, which continued till Thursday, sources said.

A few days ago, Surendranagar SP Deepak Meghani had told The Indian Express: “We don’t want to take any chance. We are probing the case from all angles… We are also probing if there could be any locals involved in the alleged attack on him on April 21.” The DCB dispatched a team to Surendranagar and started investigation. In the meanwhile, an expert of Arabic language told the DCB officials that language used in the letter was not proper. The expert found that sentence formation was abrupt and random. Officials said that after several attempts they decoded the letter and came to conclusion that it was written using Google translator. “We checked the computer system of Shukla and extracted all the data. We examined the data and found a letter written in English got translated exactly as the threat letter through the Google application,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police, DCB, Rajdeepsinh Jhala.

He said that once it was confirmed that the letter was forged, police traced the chemical, “bodyguard spray”, which Shukla had claimed was used in the attack on him. Jhala said that all information from the spray bottle had been removed, but the batch number was intact. Police found the manufacturer had produced 1000 such sprays in this batch, out of which 78 were sold in Gujarat — 60 in Ahmedabad. Jhala said that Cyber Cell officials traced the seller and found that one spray was sold from a shop in Ahmedabad One mall, Vastrapur. The accountant was shown a photograph of Shukla, and was identified.

According to police, Shukla was confronted with these evidence and after several rounds of questioning he broke down, and admitted that he had forged everything. Meghani said that Shukla has not been arrested or detained as yet since he is on medication. “We are going to file a ‘B’ summary report before the court since it was a false case.” Police said Shukla told them that “he has been doing research on drugs for treating HIV/AIDS among other diseases for 28 years, however the society never took a note of his efforts. This led him to depression. He has confessed to have writing the letter and making up the story of attack.”

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