Officers from Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested a 52-year-old man on Monday evening and handed him over to the Borivli police yesterday for making a hoax call to the police control room and informing it about a bomb being planted in a courtroom at the Borivli 24th magistrate court.
ATS officers nabbed Karia from Nalasopara on Monday evening.
Cops said Sandip Tansuplal Karia called the police control room from a PCO in Grant Road on Monday and claimed that a terrorist organisation had planted a bomb to kill a judge. Investigation later revealed that the accused took the step to derail an ongoing case against him, as he feared conviction.
A CCTV grab of Karia after he made the call from a PCO near Grant Road station.
ATS and Crime Branch officers initiated a probe after the call was ascertained to be a hoax. A scrutiny of the call location led the officers to the PCO near Grant Road station. The officers then secured CCTV footage from the nearby shops and managed to zero down on the man who made the call.
After securing the caller’s picture, the cops went through their records and ascertained Karia’s identity, a history-sheeter with two cases registered against him at VP Road and Malad police stations. Karia had been booked under sections 420 (cheating) and 170 (personating public servants) of IPC at both the police stations. Based on the personal details registered in the records, Karia’s whereabouts were traced to Nalasopara following which ATS officers nabbed him on Monday night.
During investigation, Karia told the cops that two cases against him were underway simultaneously at Girgaum and Borivli courts and this had taken a toll on his health and finances. He feared conviction, as both the judges heard his cases regularly and were issuing dates for the next hearing at regular intervals. Karia claimed he made the hoax call out of desperation, hoping that it would slow down the pace of at least one of the cases.
Karia was booked under sections 182 (false information), 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others), 505 (1) (Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report) and 507 (Criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) of the IPC. He was produced in the court yesterday and was remanded in police custody till April 28.
In the case registered against Karia at Malad, he has been accused of looting a labourer named Uttam Natu of R500 by posing as a policeman, said Inspector Subhash Sawant, ATS (North region). A similar complaint has been registered at VP Road police station as well.
"In the case registered against him at Malad police station, he had appeared in the Borivli court on February 1. The court was likely to deliver verdict on April 28. Karia feared conviction and made the hoax call thinking that it would save him from landing behind bars," an ATS officer said, adding, "We arrested the accused from Nalsopara and handed him over to Borivli police for further investigation. We are also checking whether he has any link with any of the radical outfits."