Nagpur: A team of Ghumka police of Rajnandgaon district in Chhattisgarh nabbed three fraudsters-cum-extortionists from Nagpur railway station in the early hours of Sunday. The Chhattisgarh police said that the gang was involved in extorting money from unassuming people, especially retired persons, threatening them with dire consequences. Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials too have categorically distanced themselves from the action, saying there was no element of extremism involved.
Ghumka police station in-charge inspector GP Yadav told meadia that Shabbas alias Abbar Jafar Khan, Naseem Mohd Usman Mohd, and Dil Hussain Sheikh Yasser Shaikh, all from Uttar Pradesh, were nabbed after they got down from a train at Nagpur railway station in the wee hours of Sunday. They were wanted for their alleged involvement in cases of extortion registered on December 12, 2014 (crime no. 164/14). The gang had forced a retired person, identified as Amar Singh Kurre, to withdraw Rs 7.50 lakh from the bank and hand it over to them. Police have recovered CCTV footage of the gang in the bank at Ghumka.
Two accomplices — Shamim Khan Kallu Khan and Rafique Khan Sardar Khan — of the trio had been nabbed on Saturday evening. It was following the tip-off by Shamim and Rafique, and clues from their mobile phones, that Chhattisgarh police managed to nab the three from Nagpur. It’s learnt that Rafique was a native of Konda in Rajasthan.
Ghumka police have procured custody remand of the five, including the three nabbed in Nagpur, till January 11 after producing them before a court.
PI Yadav said there could more persons involved in the gang as a potential link has now been found. “This gang generally targeted retired persons or senior citizens, promising to improve their farmlands. Their modus operandi was to defer discussion on payment till after completion of the work. Later, they would demand astronomical amount and start threatening to make their prey cough up the sum,” he said.
“In the present case, the five had demanded Rs 10.50 lakh after doing some work on the complainant’s farm costing hardly Rs 20,000. Then they forced him to go along with them to the bank to withdraw the amount. The complainant paid them Rs 7.50 lakh in fear,” said the PI.
Superintendent of police, Rajnandgaon, Sanjeev Shukla said that traps for the gang were laid at Gondia and Nagpur railway stations. “I came to know about the misreporting in the Nagpur press after a senior SP informed me. Our case had no connection to either Naxalism or terrorism,” he said. SP Shukla added that police are trying to conduct a detailed inquiry into the gang’s activities.
A senior IB official said the agency has not nabbed anyone from Nagpur railway station in any recent action.