Renowned UP Poet Faces Hours Of 'Digital Arrest' By Cybercriminals

Naresh Saxena, a well-known elderly poet from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, was 'virtually confined' for six long hours by cyberheist operators posing as CBI officers.

Tanya Savkoor
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naresh saxena

Image: Amar Ujala

Naresh Saxena, a well-known poet from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, was 'digitally arrested' for six long hours on July 7 by a cyberheist operator posing as a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officer. The elderly man was kept 'confined' on a video call and was threatened with arrest in a faux money laundering case if he did not recite some poems. According to reports, Saxena's family members intervened so that the scammers would fail to con the poet. He filed a complaint in Gomtinagar police station on July 7.


What Is 'Digital Arrest'?

On the afternoon of July 3, Saxena was set to leave for a poetry recital session when he got a video call on his mobile phone. The cyber crook introduced himself as CBI inspector Rohan Sharma and asked Saxena if he had lost his Aadhar card. The scammer then falsely informed the Lucknow-based writer that someone had opened an account in Mumbai using his identity card and that a money laundering case of crores had taken place through it.

Saxena was told that a case had been registered in a Mumbai police station and an arrest warrant had been issued against him. Saxena revealed what happened next in a post on Facebook. The scammer told him that since he "was an elderly person and seemed to be a good man, he said would try to get me released soon if I cooperated in the investigation. Otherwise, I might face a long jail term," Saxena wrote.

The cyber thug then verified Saxena's Aadhar number, bank details, and income tax details “I was able to see the man’s police uniform and a cap which convinced me," he said. “As soon as he saw my room full of books, to ensure that I was the right person and the same poet he had called, he asked me to prove myself by reciting poetry."

Saxena continued, "He listened to my poems for a long time and even praised me a lot." Saxena said that all this went on for six hours. The conman then told him that the CBI chief of Mumbai would talk to him. He told his cohort that Saxena was a very good man and the ‘chief’ should also listen to his poems. 

The scammer reportedly told the 'chief' that Saxena should be investigated on priority and be let off within 24 hours. The men then told him to close the door of his room and not inform his family members, while remaining in front of them on the video call. He was directed to tell his family to not disturb him.


As Saxena did not open the door for hours, his concerned family members checked on him. His daughter-in-law stated that she heard obscene abuses from the video call, prompting her to intervene. Despite the conmen’s threats, she snatched the phone and told them to do whatever they wanted.

Soon, the writer and his family filed a complaint with the Gomtinagar Police. The police have not yet issued a statement to the media. Saxena wrote on Facebook, "The men have recorded my video for 6 hours and can misuse it in many ways."



Cybercrime e-frauds Digital Arrest