BJP Panch among three arrested for extortion in Sopore: Police
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BJP Panch among three arrested for extortion in Sopore: Police

‘Fourth accused still at large’

Police on Friday claimed to have arrested three persons, including a BJP panch, in Sopore area of north Kashmir's Baramulla district for an alleged extortion attempt.

Quoting a police statement, news agency GNS reported that the police received a complaint from Mudasir Ahmad Sheikh that some unidentified persons barged into the house of his in-laws at Hamdani Colony Nadihal last night and asked them to drop toy weapons in south Kashmir.

As per the complaint, the extortionists also snatched mobile phones from the family members and also threatened them to not disclose anything.

In this regard FIR no 20 u/s 450, 506 IPC and 7/25 arms act was lodged at PS Panzalla, and investigation taken up, read the police statement.

"During investigation on technical evidences one panch namely Mehraj u din Rather son of Haji Mohd Akbar Rather resident of Minipora Krankshoon Sopore (BJP) was called for questioning and he confessed the commission of [the] crime with three more persons namely, Mohd Saleem Wani son of Gh Rasool Wani resident of Hardpora Achabal Anantnag (Sarpanch),  Bashir Ahmad Lone son of Mohd Shahbhan lone resident of Nadihal and Mohd Dilawar Khwaja son of Sonnaulla Khwaja resident of Dachinpora Ruhama," read the statement further, as per GNS.

The spokesperson further said that during the course of investigation these three persons were called for questioning. However, one among the trio, identified as Mohd Saleem from Anantnag, who is also a sarpanch of BJP, is still at large.

It transpired that Mehraj and Salim had planned to extort money from Lone Traders illegally. Mehraj had contacted Bashir, who further contacted Dilawar for obtaining some imitation (toy) weapons for committing the crime, said the spokesman.

He said the (toy) weapons have been recovered and further investigation is underway.

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