The callers, who posed as a cousin of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Khattar’s media advisor threatened him with “dire consequences”.
In a major security breach, a BJP leader in Haryana’s Karnal reportedly received extortion calls from a landline number of Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on the fourth floor of the Haryana Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh. Taking tough cognisance of the matter, the police has launched a probe into the matter. The callers, who posed as a cousin of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Khattar’s media advisor threatened him with “dire consequences”, according to Indian Express report.
CM Khattar’s himself is monitoring the investigation. “It is a serious matter. The landline number is of the CM’s office. The Chief Minister is monitoring the investigation’s progress. It seems the landline number may have been hacked. But if that is the case, it is an even more serious issue that needs to be investigated,” Khattar’s media adviser Rajiv Jain was quoted as saying by IE.
Kathuria, a former BJP district chief, claimed he received four calls on his mobile from a landline on October 16. It was followed by two WhatsApp calls from a mobile number, he said. The caller asked him to deposit 60,000 Dirhams in a bank account in Dubai or face dire consequences. The caller also sent him an account number on WhatsApp, he told IE.
Kathuria said that in one call from the landline, the caller introduced himself as Vishnath Yadav Khattar and claimed to be the Chief Minister’s cousin. In another call, the caller introduced himself as Rajiv Jain, the CM’s media advisor. When Kathuria replied that he knew Rajiv and that it was not his voice. “The caller then disconnected the line. Then, I received two WhatsApp calls in which the same demand was reiterated… a bank account number was also sent,” he said.
Subsequently, Kathuria informed Karnal SP Surender Singh Bhoria about the calls. On October 17, based on Kathuria’s complaint, a case was registered at Karnal’s Civil Lines police station against unidentified persons on charges of extortion, criminal intimidation and under provisions of the IT Act. On October 18, DSP Virender Saini-led five-member police team questioned staffers at CMO. The staffers gave over records of the last 100 calls made from the landline number. Police have provided Kathuria and his family protection.