Aniksha Jaisinghani ‘demanded’ Rs 10 crore from Amruta Fadnavis: Cops

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Mumbai: Two days after deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis’ wife Amruta filed an FIR on February 20 against Ulhasnagar resident Aniksha Jaisinghani and her bookie father for offering a Rs 1 crore bribe, police said a demand of Rs 10 crore was made from numbers linked to the Jaisinghanis referring to videos they had sent of money being put in a bag and that bag being later seen in the Fadnavis’s house.

On Friday, the Mumbai Police added an extortion section against Jaisinghani.

“Extortion section 385 of the Indian Penal Code has been added against the accused, who threatened to make two videos viral and demanded a bribe from Amruta Fadnavis,” said an officer of Mumbai Police.

Jaisinghani was arrested from Ulhasnagar on Thursday. The arrest was made after Amruta filed a complaint with Mumbai Police alleging she was threatened and asked to pay a bribe of ₹10 crore by an acquaintance whom she identified as Anishka.

While the FIR was registered against Jaisinghani and her father Anil Jaisinghani on February 20, alleging a bribe offer of ₹1 crore to Amruta, police officers said an extortion attempt was made a couple of days after the FIR.

After the bribe offer to drop cases against her father, Amruta said she had blocked Aniksha’s number. “Aniksha used multiple numbers to send messages. Aniksha had sent a WhatsApp message to the complainant demanding Rs 10 crore and asking for help to save her father. She had written in the message her father was angry because ‘you (the complainant) are not helping. You don’t know my father, I know him’,” a senior officer quoted the February 22 message as saying.

“Aniksha had said if her work was not done, she would make the videos public,” said the officer. In one video clip, Aniksha is seen putting money in a bag. In another clip, she is seen with that bag at the complainant’s home. The second video seems to have been shot secretly,” said the officer.

“We sent them to forensic experts who said the bags are the same but while the bag in the first video looked fully stuffed, in the second video it seemed to have a lot of space,” added the officer. On Thursday, Fadnavis had hinted at a political conspiracy in the assembly and said after forensic tests, it was clear the bags are different.
Seeking Aniksha’s custody till March 23, chief public prosecutor J V Desai said “the accused deliberately tried to fix and entrap the public servant”. Defence advocate Milan Hebbale questioned the delayed arrest and pointed out that of 17 cases against her father, 13 have been settled by way of closure reports and Aniksha had been granted anticipatory bail in a case in Goa. “Should she be dragged in the case because there are cases against her father…?” he asked.

Desai cited the manipulated videos. “Photos and report obtained categorically show how and in what manner conspiracy to fix the complainant (Amruta) and ultimately the public servant (Devendra Fadnavis),” he said.

Special judge D D Almale said: “I am of candid opinion that custody of the accused with IO is necessary for further investigation on the points mentioned in the remand paper.”

In the FIR, Amruta said Aniksha had said her father had close relations with various political parties, and once she handed over an envelope addressed to Amruta to a staffer at their Sagar Bungalow. Amruta didn’t understand the contents of the handwritten note and had kept it aside. “The handwritten content was coded names of five to six bookies,” said the officer. The police will now collect Aniksha’s handwriting and voice samples for further investigation.

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