With the Special Cell of Delhi Police keeping mum, it is still not clear why Junaid Ahmed Khan (29), a businessman from Thane, was allegedly trying to blackmail 28-year-old Sitar player Anoushka Shankar, daughter of legendary sitar player Pandit Ravi Shankar.
Khan was picked up from Thane on Wednesday by a Special Cell team for allegedly sending threat mails and messages to Anoushka Shankar.
The police are questioning Khan to establish if he was stalking her.
“It is possible that he managed to hack into her e-mail ID, got her photos and decided to blackmail her. Again, he may have met her personally once or twice but that cannot be substantiated at this point,” said an official on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorized to speak to the media.
The police are also trying to find out how Khan got Shankar’s cell number.
“He had her cellphone number on which he sent text messages from a Dubai number, threatening to make her photographs public if she did not cough up $100,000 (Rs 48 lakh approximately),” said an official on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media.
“We are trying to find out if Shankar knew the accused and gave her number at any point of time,” the officer said.
Khan allegedly sent her six emails.
“Initial interrogation showed he had kept his friends in the loop. He boasted about making a quick buck by committing such crimes,” the officer added.
The police said Shankar is currently in Los Angeles, performing at Hollywood Bowl and not available to give any sort of statement.
The police said that Khan was in Dubai recently.
It was Pandit Ravi Shankar who initially approached the Union Home Ministry with a complaint that his daughter was being blackmailed.
He also said in his complaint that Anoushka had given her laptop to a service centre in south Delhi in February and suspected it was hacked then.
“We have spoken to the employees at the service station. But as her email account was hacked, we do not believe her personal information was leaked from the service centre. However, we are investigating the case from all angles,” added the officer.
The police have sent Khan to 14 day’ judicial custody.
Police had last week registered a case under Section 386 of the Indian Penal Code for extortion by putting in fear of death or hurt. Some cases under the IT act will also be invoked against the suspect , the officer added.