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Gujarat scientist cooks up IS threat story for publicity on his AIDS cure research

Dr Mukesh Shukla said he was attacked by a chemical spray and was even given police protection. However, police found that the whole story was made up in a desperate attempt for publicity.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2017 15:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Gujarat,IS,Islamic State
A scientist in Gujarat claimed he received threatening letters in Arabic from the Islamic State, demanding he hand over his “patented” formula of a HIV cure.(Reuters File Photo)

A researcher in Ahmedabad who claimed to have been attacked with a chemical spray after receiving threats from the Islamic State (IS) apparently fabricated the situation for publicity, police said on Saturday.

Dr Mukesh Shukla had approached police in March stating that the terror outfit was seeking his “patented” formula of a cure against HIV, and were sending him threatening letters written in Arabic. Police placed Shukla under a 12-hour protection cycle. However, last week, Shukla claimed that he was attacked by a chemical spray while walking home after his protection detail went off duty.

“He claimed that IS wanted his AIDS treatment formula and threatened to kill him if he did not give it to them,” said a police officer, adding that Shukla had filed a complaint that he was attacked and robbed of cash and a pen drive in which his AIDS research data was stored.

Shukla claimed he developed drugs for treatment of AIDS, malaria and heart diseases using plant extracts.

However, on further investigation, police found that the Surendranagar-based sexagenarian had cooked up the attack story as well as created the threat letter using Google translator.

When questioned, Shukla admitted that he concocted the whole sham for publicity for his work on finding a cure for AIDS, malaria and other diseases. He said he had spent about 30 years researching for a cure.

Given his age, police said they are yet to decide about arresting him, and are considering various options.

Police had filed an FIR under IPC sections 328 (causing hurt by means of poison, etc with intent to commit offence) and 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery) after Shukla had reported the chemical attack. However, no arrests had been made.

First Published: Apr 29, 2017 15:01 IST