A 32-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday for giving false information that terrorists are planning to carry out terror strikes in major cities in the state, including Mumbai, during the upcoming Ganesh festival, police said.
The accused has been identified as Prasad Pradip Rasal, a resident of Pune, an official said.
"Rasal, who had came to Mumbai for some work on Sunday, had approached the Police Commissioner office and Vile Parle Police with information about possible terror attack at Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur and Kolhapur," he said.
As per Rasal's claims, he had heard a discussion of three terror suspects, who were talking in Hindi and Urdu, about the plan to carry out terror strikes, the official said.
"As the information was sensitive, teams were formed to trace the three terror suspects and an alert was issued across the city to trace them," he said, adding that during the two days of probe, police did not find any truth in Rasal's claims and also found discrepancies in his statements.
Police then started interrogating Rasal for hours, following which he admitted that he provided false information to police to spread fear among people, the official said.
During his interrogation, he told the police that he was under depression after incurring financial losses in business and planned to spread fake information about terror attacks, he said.
According to the official, Rasal used to watch crime-related television series like CID and movies based on terror incidents, through which he got an idea of spreading false information about terror activities.
He was arrested under IPC sections 505 (2) (statements conducing public mischief), 177 (furnishing false information) and 182 (false information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person) and produced before the court, which remanded him in police custody till Friday, he said.