BJP Panch among 3 arrested for extortion in Sopore: Police

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Three persons including a Panchayat member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were arrested for their involvement in a case of extortion in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, Police said Friday.

A Police spokesman in a statement said that a complaint was filed by Mudasir Ahmad Shiekh son of Ghulam Muhammad Shiekh of Panzipora, Sopore, who is the son-in-law of Ghulam Nabi Lone of Hamdani Colony Nadihal Rafiabad that during the intervening night of April 3 and 4, some unidentified persons barged into his in-laws’ house at Nadihal along with weapons and asked them to drop them at a place in south Kashmir.

Police said that the men also took away two mobile phones and threatened them not to disclose this to anyone.

In this regard, an FIR No 20 under section 450, 506 IPC and 7/25 Arms Act was lodged at Police Station Panzalla Rafiabad, the spokesman said.

He said that during investigation and on technical evidences, a Panch of BJP identified as Mehrajuddin Rather, son of Haji Muhammad Akbar Rather of Minipora Krankshoon Sopore was called up for questioning and he confessed to the commission of crime with three more persons.

The trio was identified as Sarpanch Muhammad Saleem Wani, son of Ghulam Rasool Wani of Hardpora Achabal Anantnag, Bashir Ahmad Lone son of Muhammad Shahban Lone of Nadihal Rafiabad and Muhammad Dilawar Khawaja, son of Sonnaulla Khawaja of Dachinpora Rohama Rafiabad.

“During investigation, the three persons were called for questioning but Muhammad Saleem from Anantnag who is also a Sarpanch representing BJP is still at large,” the Police spokesman said.

He said that it transpired that Mehrajuddin and Salim had planned to extort money from Lone Traders.

He said that Mehrajuddin had contacted Bashir, who further contacted Dilawar for obtaining some “imitation weapons” for committing the crime. These have also been recovered during investigation and further efforts are underway to unearth more linkages, the Police spokesman said.