Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently received a letter demanding Rs 50 crore ransom. An investigation was initiated immediately, following which an inmate of Chhattisgarh's Bilaspur district jail was identified as its sender, the police said on Monday.
In the letter, the prisoner, 40-year-old Pushpendra Nath Chouhan, had demanded Rs 50 crore from Mr Patnaik, Bilaspur Superintendent of Police Arif Sheikh said, but refused to divulge the content of the letter and the exact threat mentioned in it, asserting that the matter was still under investigation.
He said the letter, sent through post, was received by the Odisha Police on August 25, who in turn informed their Bilaspur counterparts on Sunday.
The Bilaspur Police swung into action after being alerted, following which the officials identified and interrogated Chouhan, who belongs to Janjgir-Champa district in Chhattisgarh. He is currently serving a jail term in cases of dacoity and murder, and has been in prison since 2009, Mr Sheikh said.
Chouhan has confessed to have written the letter to Mr Patnaik, the Superintendent of Police said, claiming that his objective was only to "garner public attention".
"On Sunday, Odisha Additional Director General (Intelligence), in a letter, informed Bilaspur police about the threat letter written to Chief Minister Patnaik," he said. Bilaspur Additional Superintendent of Police Neeraj Chandrakar interrogated Chouhan on Sunday, he said.
As per preliminary investigation, Chouhan has been found to be mentally unstable, Mr Sheikh said. He said police will conduct a detailed investigation and send a report to the Odisha Police, who will take further action in the matter.
Additional Superintendent of Police Neeraj Chandrakar said Chouhan told him that he had a habit of writing such letters and had sent a similar letter to a district collector of Odisha in the past.
Chhattisgarh Director General (Jail) Girdhari Nayak visited Bilaspur Jail on Monday and directed the authorities to probe the matter.