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Man poses as policeman, threatens to kill activist, held

New Delhi: Police have arrested a 41-year- old man for allegedly threatening to kill social activist Shabnam Hashmi in an “encounter” while claiming to be a police official.

The accused would to make calls to random numbers after consuming alcohol in the night in the hope of talking to women, said Romil Baaniya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast).

Hashmi had written to Delhi police commissioner Amulya Patnaik and said that a man who called her identified himself as sub-inspector Sandeep Malik from the Lajpat Nagar police station.

Hashmi is co-founder of NGO Pehchan, which runs sewing classes.

She said a woman, who learnt sewing at her centre, told her that her husband got a call from police on July 14 asking him to appear at the Lajpat Nagar police station.

The man, autorickshaw driver Mohd Haseen (38), got scared because the “policeman” did not tell him the reason and just asked him to appear at the police station at the earliest, she said.

Hashmi had said when she called on the number to know the reason why Haseen was summoned, the “policeman” hurled abuses at her.

The social activist said she disconnected the call and downloaded a phone call recording application before calling back on the same number.

“In the initial conversation, this man was quite abusive.

Since I did not have a call recorder on my phone, I disconnected the call and downloaded a call recorder,” she said.

“I was directly threatened that I will be killed in an encounter and that there is the new law according to which whoever does not have an Aadhaar card and address proof should be culled out/surrounded and killed (sic),” she said.

Hashmi had also alleged that the man seemed to be drunk.

Following her complaint, an inquiry was initiated in the matter.

The man was nabbed today from his house in Uttaranchal Colony in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, said the officer. The mobile phone that he used for making the phone call has also been seized.

During investigation it was found that the mobile number was registered in the name of Malik’s previous employer. The accused is not a police officer but an knitting machine mechanic, said the DCP.

He is unmarried and had a tendency to call on random numbers. If the call was received by a woman, he would talk in an “obscene or vulgar” way with them, the police said. If the woman threatened him with police action, he would say that he is posted in the police force.

—PTI