Mumbai: Mumbai Police have arrested a man from Bengaluru for allegedly threatening Maharashtra cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray, following which the state government on Thursday announced that an SIT would be set up to probe the incidents of threat issued to legislators and others, and a policy would be framed to deal with such cases.
Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil said the man, identified as Jaisingh Rajput, who threatened Mr Thackeray, was apprehended in Karnataka by the Mumbai crime branch's cyber team and brought to Mumbai.
A police official earlier said that Rajput had allegedly called Aaditya Thackeray on December 8, but the latter did not receive the call. After that the accused had sent threatening text messages to the minister.
Aaditya Thackeray, the son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, holds the Environment and Tourism portfolios.
During the investigation, the cyber police traced the caller's mobile number to Bengaluru in neighbouring Karnataka.
Accordingly, a team was sent to Bengaluru, where the accused person was arrested, the official said. He was later produced before a court which sent him in police custody.
The accused was a fan of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, the official said.
Addressing the Lower House of the state legislature later in the day, Walse Patil said, "Members (of the legislative assembly) put forth different complaints. Be it a member of the legislature or a common man, their security is very important. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) will be formed to probe complaints and threats and a policy will be formed to deal with this." The issue was raised by Shiv Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu, who sought to link the case to Karnataka, a BJP-ruled state. Prabhu said activists Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar, writer M M Kalburgi, journalist Gauri Lankesh were killed and their killings had Karnataka connection.
The BJP is ruling in Karnataka and the accused are from the state, he said, adding that the one who threatened Thackeray was also arrested from that state, and wondered whether this is part of a "larger conspiracy".
"The House needs to know about this," he said.
Mr Prabhu was joined by NCP minister Nawab Malik in saying that a minister receiving threats is a very serious issue. Mr Malik also talked about the Sushant Singh Rajput case and claimed that the actor's girlfriend was "wrongly framed" in a drugs case.
Mr Malik said he also received many threats through Twitter.
He said Sanatan Sanstha, a right-wing Hindu organisation, was behind the killings of Mr Pansare, Mr Kalburgi, Mr Pansare and Mr Dabholkar.
The NCP leader also demanded formation of an SIT headed by an IPS officer to probe the incidents like threats to ministers and MLAs.
Devendra Fadnavis, the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, said he condemns the incident of Thackeray receiving threats, and accused Malik of trivialising a serious issue by politicising it.
He said in two cases (of killings of activists), the accused were from Maharashtra, while Mr Kalburgi and Ms Lankesh were killed in Karnataka and two accused in the case were also arrested in Maharashtra.
Mr Fadnavis sought to know that if Sanatan Sanstha was involved in any of these cases, then why has not the state government taken any action in the last two years.
He also demanded a high-level probe into this matter.