The caller identified himself as one Jayesh Pujari, alias Jayesh Kantha, the same person whose name had been used to make similar calls to the minister’s office in January, he said.
Rahul Madane, deputy commissioner of police (zone II), said three calls, two in the morning and one around 12 noon, were made to Gadkari’s public relations office, opposite Orange City Hospital in Nagpur.
The person demanded Rs 10 crore and threatened to harm the minister, who holds the portfolio of road transport and highways, if the money was not paid, he said.
After being alerted by Gadkari’s staff, the city police have started an investigation, he said. Security has been beefed up at the minister’s home and office, said the DCP.
On January 14, a man identifying himself as Pujari had made threat calls to Gadkari’s public relations office, demanding Rs 100 crore. The caller claimed that he was a member of the Dawood Ibrahim gang.
Pujari, who is lodged in Hindalga jail in Karnataka’s Belagavi after being sentenced to death in a murder case, had denied his involvement in the calls.