New Delhi, May 23: The Uttar Pradesh Police on Wednesday constituted a three member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe alleged threat calls and extortion demands received by 14 ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators. According to reports, extortionists have demanded Rs 10 lakh from each MLA and if they fail to give money, their family members will be eliminated.

Speaking on the matter, additional director general of police, Anand Kumar, said that the team has been assigned the task of cracking this sensitive case. He also expressed hope that the team would be able to soon decipher who are the people behind such WhatsApp messages and calls to the legislators.

Officials privy to the investigation said similar language had been used by the threat makers in all the 14 cases. An official said most numbers from which the threats were made were “virtual numbers” and the virtual private networks have also been apparently used where the proxy servers ensure that the IP addresses are masked.

Head of SIT Amitabh Yash said that the team was looking at all possibilities. The caller has sent similar WhatsApp messages to all BJP MLAs from the same international number raising suspicion that it could be a crank call. According to DNA reports, BJP MLAs and their families are in a state of shock after receiving the messages. DGP OP Singh has directed to increase the security of these MLAs and their family members till the caller is identified and arrested. The DGP suspected that there might be a possibility that messages are being sent from a hacked number.