A poster of Haseena Maan Jaayegi
Durgapur, Oct. 18: An extortion bid inspired by the Sanjay Dutt-Govinda blockbuster Haseena Maan Jaayegi unravelled today with the arrest of two couples from Jharkhand working in Durgapur.
Jitender and Sabita Thakur and Somnath and Sumitra Dutta had allegedly called up a businessman neighbour and threatened to kidnap his six-year-old daughter if he did not pay them Rs 10 lakh. The accused had taken the help of an employee of the shop owner whom they had tried to extort.
Clothes shop employee Subhra Mukut Chakraborty, 26, had informed Jitender, 28, and Somnath, 27, that their neighbour Parmanand Sekaria had made a lot of money in the Puja season. Chakraborty also gave the duo Sekaria’s cellphone number. Jitender and Somnath then hatched the plot to extort money.
Police said Jitender and Somnath had told them during interrogation that they had got the idea of making the ransom call from Haseena Maan Jaayegi, where Dutt (Sonu) and Govinda (Monu) call up their rich father claiming to be gangsters and threaten to kill him if he did not pay Rs 20 lakh.
Jitender and Somnath, who had come to Durgapur with their wives from West Singhbhum in Jharkhand a month ago and were working for an insurance company in the town, called up Sekaria for the first time on October 12.
“The caller threatened to kill my daughter on her way to school if I did not pay Rs 10 lakh. Initially I ignored it but after getting repeated calls, I informed the Coke Oven police station on October 13,” said Sekaria, who owns Kanta Cloth Store near Durgapur station and lives near the accused’s rented flats.
The police traced the phone calls and found out that they were made from two cellphones. The towers were located within 50 metres of Karanga Para, where the accused and the complainant live. Informers and sources helped the police zero in on Jitender and Somnath. The duo, their wives and Chakraborty, who hails from Bankura and lives the same area, were arrested last night.
“Jitender and Somnath plotted to extort money from the shop owner because they wanted to make easy money. They have confessed to their crime. Their wives are accomplices in the crime. We are verifying whether they have past criminal records in Jharkhand,” said Sunil Yadav, the additional deputy commissioner of police (east division).
According to police sources, Jitender had allegedly eloped with Sabita, 21, and married her without the consent of her parents. A case of abduction had been lodged at the local police station in Chaibasa.
The Durgapur additional chief judicial magistrate’s court remanded Jitender and Somnath to three days’ police custody and the others to three days’ judicial custody.