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Builder in net for cheating businessman

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 14: A Delhi police team today arrested a builder for cheating a businessman after promising to sell him a plot of land here and subsequent bouncing of a cheque.

Manas Ranjan Sahu, the accused, tried to evade arrest by jumping from the roof of his Forest Park residence, as the Delhi police and their local counterparts gheraoed his house. However, he slipped and fell while sliding down the sewer pipe from the rooftop of his two-storey house. He was injured on his left leg and rushed to Capital Hospital.

Following Sahu’s escape bid, the police stepped up security around the hospital. They deployed two policemen to guard the accused.

Sources said that in 2011, the Delhi police had arrested Sahu’s brother, Rajendra, in connection with the same case though he was released on bail. The duo owned a real estate company at Samantrapur, apart from a residential Plus II science college in the same area on National Highway-203 connecting Cuttack and Puri.

The police said Sahu’s company had promised to sell a plot at Pitapalli on the city outskirts to one Ashok Kapoor, a Delhi-based businessman. Accordingly, Kapoor paid Rs 69 lakh for 10 acres to the company in 2007. The businessman, who owns a hospitality firm in Delhi, was supposed to open an engineering college here following boom in technical education in the state.

“In 2008, when Kapoor came to take possession on the plot, he faced resistance from local people who claimed the land belonged to them. Despite requests and showing documentary proof of him having purchased the land, they did not listen. Later, on verification, he found that Sahu had sold the land, which belonged to the local people, to him fraudulently,” said Mitra Sain, head constable leading the team.

Kapoor tried to contact the company many times to get back his money. But Sahu and his brother did not respond. Then Kapoor lodged a police complaint. Delhi cops arrested the elder brother in 2011 from Bhubaneswar. Sahu, who had managed to evade arrest then, had promised to return his money.

He issued Kapoor four cheques of Rs 52 lakh but these bounced. Kapoor then filed a case with the district and sessions court at Karkadooma district in Delhi. Following the court directive, Preet Vihar police conducted raids here with the local police this morning. Sain said they had carried out raids in the city at least six times to arrest Sahu, but failed every time.

“We have been in the city for the past two days, keeping vigil on his movements. This morning with the help of local police we arrested him,” said the constable.