Mumbai, March 22 (IANS) Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra legislative assembly Eknath Khadse of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been warned in an SMS that he will be "finished off" for his anti-terrorism utterances and Mumbai will be destroyed, a legislator said Monday.
"Khadse received the first SMS Sunday evening from a person called Naresh Cheddi, warning that the metropolis would be blown up within 36 hours," BJP member Devendra Phadnavis told a shocked house Monday evening.
This was followed by another SMS Monday afternoon which threatened to "finish off" Khadse within 24 hours, Phadnavis said.
Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal got up and replied that the government would make the necessary inquiries and inform the legislature by Monday evening.
Taking conginizance of the SMS threats to Khadse, the Democratic Front government ordered an inquiry to ascertain the real identity of the sender of the two threatening SMSes, purportedly sent by Cheddi.
The SMS also warned that the city would be blown up in 36 hours and threw a challenge to the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief K.P. Raghuvanshi and Director-General of Police A.N. Roy and television channels to avert the sabotage if they could.
Later Monday evening, speaking to mediapersons, Khadse felt that he was being targeted in the threat since inside the legislature and outside, he had been speaking against terrorist activities, including on the German Bakery terror blast in Pune last month.
"I shall not be cowed down by such threats, I shall continue to speak on terror issues," Khadse said.
Home Minister R.R. Patil visited Khadse at his office in the state Vidhan Bhavan and enquired about the threat SMSes.
Patil also directed the police to check the veracity of the two SMSes and also provide additional security to Khadse.