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Teen prank caller arrested for threatening to blow up Mumbai

The accused later confessed that he had made the calls for the sake of fun and wanted to see how swiftly the police responded to the situation

After keeping cops on their toes for more than an hour with hoax calls in which he claimed he had planted bombs at various places in the city, 19-year-old Masook Mehmood Shaikh was arrested Wednesday night by the Crime Branch.

Masook Shaikh, who said he did it all for fun, has been booked for criminal intimidation and public mischief; he has been handed over to the Azad Maidan police
Masook Shaikh, who said he did it all for fun, has been booked for criminal intimidation and public mischief; he has been handed over to the Azad Maidan police

According to police officials, Shaikh confessed that he had made the calls for ‘thrill’ and wanted to see how quickly the police responded to the situation.

Shashikant Mane, police inspector, Crime Branch (Unit V), said, “Shaikh admitted that on Monday he called police control room seven times in one hour and claimed he had kept bombs at seven different places, which would explode any moment.”

Following his calls, the police rushed their teams to the spots and frantic search operations were launched with sniffer dogs, only to realise later that it was a hoax. The 19-year-old’s first call said there was a bomb at Film City; he stays close by and wanted to witness police’s response firsthand.

Between 4.45 pm and 5.45 pm, he made another six calls mentioning Mahim, Khar, Bandra, Santacruz, Mulund and Mumbra, claiming he was a terrorist and unless they caught him, he would plant more bombs in the city.

Inspector Sadanand Rane of Unit V, said, “Shaikh is a school dropout and resides in Dindoshi. He claims that he did it for the sake of fun and wanted to see how Mumbai police would react. He used three different SIM cards for making the calls and they have been seized from him.” Shaikh also said he was not associated with any terrorist organisation.

Senior inspector Netaji Bhopale said, “We have booked Shaikh under sections 505 (2) (statements conducing to public mischief), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) of the Indian Penal Code, along with section 66 (1) of the IT Act. He has been handed over to the Azad Maidan police as the control room is under their jurisdiction.”

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