MUMBAI: Days after launching an investigation into the alleged calls received by revenue minister Eknath Khadse from fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim in Pakistan, the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Friday summoned ‘ethical hacker’ Manish Bhangale, who had accessed Dawood’s and Khadse’s telephone records, to record his statement.
Two officers from the local ATS unit asked Bhangale to accompany them to Mumbai from Jalgaon. However, his legal team refused to allow this, citing an ongoing court petition. The police left after summoning Bhangale to ATS headquarters in Mumbai on Saturday.
The Bombay High Court will hear Bhangale’s petition on Monday. A source told HT that the police tried to summon him for questioning before this as the court is likely to ask the ATS about the hacker’s statement while hearing his petition.
Bhangale told HT, “I had announced a press conference in Jalgaon today (Friday) and they came with a plan to scuttle it. They asked me to postpone t he press conference and accompany them, which I refused. I told them to wait for the conference to be convened and informed my lawyer.”
He said his lawyer, Sandesh Sawant, sent f axes to t he chief minister and the ATS, stating that it was unfair to record Bhangale’s statement at a stage, as the Bombay High Court had admitted his petition. Following this, the ATS officers left.
“I have been called to ATS headquarters in Mumbai at 11am on Saturday. My legal t eam will go t here on my behalf. I continue to stand by what I have said. I don’t know why they have suddenly made recording my statement a priority,” Bhangale said.
The ATS confir med t hat they had summoned Bhangale to record his statement but refused to divulge any more details.
The hacker and his family, meanwhile, are being provided by security by the Jalgaon police.
Last week, his family received threats from people apparently seeking to muzzle him and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Preeti Menon.