Mateen Hafeez | TNN Mumbai: Investigations into February’s ‘terror’ emails which contained ‘information’ about a plot to blow up the plush Hiranandani complex in Powai and hinted at the person who was ‘colluding with terrorists’ have led police to a gay love triangle. Investigators say the emails were sent by a small-time gay film actor who was spurned in love and wanted to get back at his former partner and the latter’s new flame.
Police officials identified the actor as Anand, a 33-year-old from Thrissur, Kerala. “Our officials are likely to arrest him and bring him to Mumbai on Sunday,’’ additional commissioner of police Parambir Singh of the Anti-Terrorism Squad said early on Saturday. Anand was arrested later.
The person who spurned Anand’s love was the vice-president of a multinational firm, and his new partner was a human resources executive with one of the country’s biggest tech companies.
“Two emails were sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, the official email address of the group’s administration department, on February 14 and 15. Both came from email@example.com. They prompted cops to beef up the security in and around the complex,’’ a Powai police official said.
The messages claimed that a person staying in the complex was colluding with terrorists and was assisting them in plotting more attacks. “A person who goes by the name JJ stays as a paying guest in one of the buildings in Hiranandani Gardens,’’ one of the emails stated. This person and the terrorists had sussed out Powai before deciding on the target, the message disclosed, adding, “This person has provided terrorists blueprints of several buildings in the complex.’’
The Powai police registered an FIR on April 18, and the cyber unit of the ATS traced the internet protocol (IP) address of the email to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
It took almost two months of sleuthing for police to figure out the story behind the emails that purportedly warned about a terror threat to the Hiranandani complex in Powai. An Anti-Terrorism Squad team comprising inspector N T Kadam, assistant inspector Nasir Kulkarni, constables Arvind Kashikar and Vikas More, along with inspector Prakash Patil of Powai police station, worked for weeks before zeroing in on the ‘terror suspect’.
As the emails had referred to a Hiranandani resident with the initials ‘JJ’ as a co-conspirator, the police were on the lookout for such a person. “We started searching for a JJ and questioned at least four dozen people with the same initials. We finally hit on the right person only a week ago,’’ an officer said.
‘JJ’ and his partner were brought to the police station and, after sustained interrogation, the cops realized that the case had more to do with a relationship gone awry than with terrorism.
Officials said Anand, a small-time actor from Thrissur, Kerala, and the former partner of ‘JJ’, had lived in Mumbai for the past two years and had been in a relationship with an MNC vice-president. The latter, however, drifted away after getting to know another gay man employed with a leading tech firm. The two moved in together and Anand, taking the hint, moved out of the area. As the police learned all this from the ‘terror suspects’, their probe changed tack and focused on nabbing Anand.
“We found that the ID from which the emails were sent had been accessed several times from a cyber cafe in Vashi between November 2008 and January 2009. The cyber cafe owner identified Anand when shown his photograph,’’ an officer said.
The cops then asked one of the two hoax victims to contact Anand and convince him to return from Saudi Arabia, where he was working. Anand bit the bait—he flew to India, and after a visit to his Thrissur home came to Mumbai thinking he would renew his broken relationship. That was how the cops nabbed him.
The Times of India, April 26, 2009