The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge sheet in the Antilia bomb scare case on Tuesday. As per the charge sheet, a cyber expert has claimed that former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had asked him to modify his report on the matter to add the ‘Jaish Ul Hind’ poster.
In a charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), a cyber expert, who had worked with the Mumbai Police on the Antilia bomb scare case, claimed that ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had asked him to modify his report on the matter to add ‘Jaish Ul Hind’ poster. He also claimed that Param Bir Singh ensured payment of Rs 5 lakh to him for the work.
The NIA charge sheet in the cases of the Antilia Bomb scare and Manshukh Hiren’s death has a statement of a cyber expert who submitted a report to Mumbai police when the latter was investigating the incident on February 25 this year.
After the gelatin sticks were found in the Scorpio car outside businessman Mukesh Ambani’s residence in Mumbai. An outfit identifying itself as Jaish Ul Hind claimed responsibility for the bomb threat on a Telegram channel.
The case was later handed over to the NIA for investigation in March 2021.
During the investigation, a cyber expert told the NIA that he had met the then Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh on March 9 in connection with a training programme for crime branch officials.
During the meeting, the 30-year-old expert told the commissioner that he had assisted the Delhi Police special cell in the blast case that had taken place outside the Israel embassy in January this year.
The expert also told Param Bir Singh that the special cell had traced the Telegram channel, on which Jaish Ul Hind had claimed the responsibility for the blast, to a phone number in Tihar Jail.
The expert told the probe agency that Param Bir Singh had asked him to make a similar report in connection with the Antilia bomb scare case.
“I was asked if I could give such a report in writing. I said the work was confidential and being done by the Delhi Police special cell and it would not be proper on my part to give any report. But the CP Sir said it was a very important matter and that I should give the said report and that CP Sir was also going to talk to IG NIA in this regard,” the statement elaborates.
“As per the insistence of the CP Mumbai, I prepared a report on my laptop computer sitting in the office of the CP Mumbai. The said report was in one paragraph and I showed it to the CP Mumbai,” The statement further read.
“After going through the report, Param Bir Singh Sir asked me to insert the poster that had appeared on the Telegram channel, Jaish Ul Hind claiming responsibility for the Antilia scare. He said that the IG NIA was expected shortly and that he would like to show the report to IG NIA,” the expert said.
“Accordingly, I modified my report and inserted the poster that had appeared on the Telegram channel ‘Jaish Ul Hind’ and mailed the said report to the official email ID of CP Mumbai,” the expert said.
“I would like to clarify that the Telegram channel Jaish Ul Hind identified and resolved by me was different from the one on which the poster had appeared. The one resolved by me had only three to four members and there was no poster related to Antilia terror scare on that channel,” the expert said while indicating that it had been modified.
The expert further claimed that Param Bir Singh wanted to pay him for the work done but he said that he did not expect any payment. However, Singh insisted that he deserved payment and called his personal assistant to pay him. Singh then paid Rs 5 lakh in cash to the cyber expert for this work.
The NIA has also recorded the statement of the police personnel who handed over the money to the cyber expert.
“Param Bir Singh had said that he [the expert] should be paid Rs 3 lakh. When the expert did not reply, he increased the amount to Rs 5 lakh. The money was from the “SS Fund” of Mumbai police,” the police personnel said.
Under flak for his mishandling of the Mukesh Ambani threat scare case, Param Bir Singh was replaced by Hemant Nagrale, an IPS officer, 1987 batch.
WHAT IS ANTILIA BOMB SCARE CASE
On February 25, a Scorpio car with 20 explosive gelatin sticks and a threat letter was found outside Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai residence ‘Antilia’. As soon as the police were informed, several policemen — including Mumbai’s crime intelligence unit headed by Sachin Vaze — reached the spot for investigation. Sachin Vaze took over as the lead investigator in the case.
A few days later, the case was handed over to the NIA after the mysterious death of a Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiren. Hiren was the owner of the Scorpio found outside Ambani’s residence. He had earlier claimed that the vehicle had been stolen a week earlier. His body was found in a creek at Thane on March 5.