The Delhi Police have arrested a 21-year-old man for allegedly duping many families of COVID patients on the promise of getting them oxygen cylinders. The accused has been identified as Ritik Pratap Singh, who claims to have more than 30,000 followers in Instagram.

Police said the accused claimed to be the president of a youth organisation associated with Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP).

Singh and his associate were arrested by Delhi Police from Greater Noida on Tuesday, according to a report in Indian Express. According to police, Singh claimed he is the president ‘India Youth Icon Team’ connected to BJP. However, the party has denied any connection with the accused.

“We have checked from our various sources in Noida and Greater Noida. We have no such youth wing by the name of IYIT. Singh might be a party worker but he is not an active member or youth leader of the party. His claims are false,” the report quoted an Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesperson as saying.

The Delhi BJP office bearers also said they have nothing to do with Singh. “The man is not a member or president of any of our youth teams. His outfit is not associated with the BJP. He might claim something but we have never seen or heard of him,” the report further quoted Delhi BJP’s media head Naveen Kumar as saying.

Police said the accused cheated many people of Rs 7 lakh in the last two months. The matter came to light after a man called police alleging that he contacted the man’s outfit for an oxygen cylinder as his mother was sick.

“The accused demanded Rs 14,000 and promised to deliver two cylinders. The man and his father made the payment online but there was no trace of cylinders,” said R Sathiyasundaram, DCP (Shahdara).

Police filed a case and tracked the mobile number and bank account details of one accused named Sandeep Pandey from Greater Noida. Pandey then informed police about Singh, who was also arrested.

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