A 15-year-old’s family in an Agra village spent all of last week preparing for a relative’s wedding. The boy was excited — he would be meeting his cousins after almost nine months. There was a constant stream of people at the house. But when the doorbell rang again on Sunday afternoon, it was the police.
They had come from Lucknow to pick up the boy who, they alleged, had threatened to “blow up” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
According to police, the boy had sent the threat by WhatsApp on the state’s Dial 112 helpline number. A policeman named Anjul Kumar, who was posted with Dial 112, filed an FIR at Lucknow’s Sushant Golf City Police Station for alleged criminal intimidation.
The number in the complaint was tracked by surveillance teams and the cyber cell of the UP Police. Within 24 hours, police had identified the 15-year-old from Agra. A two-member team was sent from Lucknow to apprehend him, and he was presented before the Juvenile Board in the state capital a day later. The minor is now lodged at a juvenile home in Lucknow, police said.
The family, which was unaware of the complaint until the police showed up at their home, said the boy is usually quiet, and spends a lot of his time playing, especially volleyball. He studies in Class 10, is a good student, and does well in debating competitions at school, the family said.
“He is so young, and has barely seen the outside world. We do not know why or in what circumstances he sent the message. But anyone in the village can vouch that he meant no harm. It is possible he sent it out of frustration, or as a joke. We can only come to know once we speak to him. But the way he was taken away – it was although he was a criminal,” the minor’s grandmother said.
His family said the boy had hoped to get a government job one day under the sports quota, and maybe play volleyball for the state or the country.
“A Class 10 student is being portrayed as an enemy of the state – perhaps he can be counselled, or just be told what is right and what is wrong,” the boy’s older brother said.
The boy had spoken to his family by phone after being taken to the juvenile home, the family said. He had told them that he was in good health, and that he wanted to come back home, the family said.
Sachin Kumar Singh, SHO Sushant Golf City, said: “The FIR was filed by a policeman because the message mentioned the CM, and had been sent to the official number. Prima facie it appears that the minor did not mean to carry out the threat. Further investigation in the case is pending.”
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