Mumbai: Mumbai police on Monday arrested a man for allegedly making threat calls to chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Ltd Mukesh Ambani and his family. A police official said that multiple calls were made on the display number of the hospital giving life threats to Mr Ambani by an unknown person.
According to reports, the suspect has been identified as Vishnu Vibhu Bhowmik (56) who made nine calls on a landline number of the Reliance Foundation Hospital between 10.30am and 12 noon. He reportedly claimed his name as Afzal and threatened to kill Mr Ambani within three hours. Bhowmik owns a jewellery shop in South Mumbai
The hospital representatives immediately reported the matter at the D.B. Marg police station and also handed over the recordings of the phone calls. After scrutinising the call details, the police detained the suspect from Dahisar.
“Total of nine calls have been made giving life threats to Mr Ambani by an unknown person. We have complained to Mumbai police to look into the matter,” an official from the hospital said.
A police officer said that Bhowmik made the first call at 10.39am. He abused the person who received the call and started giving death threats to Mr Ambani.
When the police started the investigation, they realised that the caller had made all calls from the same mobile phone, which later turned out to be Bhowmik’s own number. The police also traced the mobile phone location to Bhowmik’s residence at Borivali (West) from where he was detained.
Deputy commissioner of police Neelotpal said, “The accused had got the number from some public portal. In one of his phone calls, he also mentioned the name of Late Dheerubhai Ambani,.He was detained from Borivali (West) and brought to the D B Marg police. We have booked him under section 506 (II) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.”
Bhowmik will be produced before a court on Tuesday. The police are yet to ascertain the motive behind his calls. The 56-year-old, who hails from Tripura, has been living in Mumbai for the last 26 years with his wife and two children.
While hearing a PIL in June this year, Tripura high court had directed the Centre asking it to place on record the files related to threat perception and assessment of Mr Ambani and his family. The Supreme Court stayed the high court’s order after the Centre challenged it on the ground that the security provided to Mr Ambani and his family had nothing to do with the Tripura government and the high court did not have the jurisdiction to entertain such a PIL.
Some central agencies have also sought details of the threat calls, the police said.
Mr Ambani was provided Z-plus security cover by the Centre in 2013 based on the threat perception. He was the first private person to receive such VIP security from the government. After objections raised over the move, the government had also clarified that Mr Ambani was going to pay for his security. The Centre also provided Y-plus category security cover to Neeta Ambani in 2016.
Earlier in 2021, a car containing 20 gelignite sticks was found outside the residence of Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai. The investigation of that case was initially given to a Mumbai police crime branch unit headed by assistant police inspector Sachin Waze. Few days later, one of the suspects in the case, Mansukh Hiren, was found murdered. The then Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state directed the state Anti Terrorist Squad to investigate Hiren’s death.
However, the National Investigation Agency subsequently took over the investigation in both the cases and arrested several police officers including Waze, who was the initial investigating officer.