Ranchi, Sept. 2: Police caught red-handed one Arjun Thakur (36), an aide of former Maoist sub-zonal commander Vimal Bhagat, while collecting Rs 10,000 as levy from a glass dealer at Lowadih yesterday.
His associate Anmol Bakhla (30) was also held. Five mobile phones, four SIM cards and Rs 22,500 in cash were recovered from their possession.
Acting on a tip-off from glass dealer Indra Dutt three days ago, officers in plainclothes laid a trap to nab them, said Superintendent of police (SP), rural, Rajeev Ranjan Singh today.
“Thakur and Bakhla intercepted Dutt’s 24-year-son Nantu on August 28 and demanded Rs 20 lakh, threatening him of dire consequences in case the amount was not paid. The duo impersonated as PLFI member,” said Singh.
According to the SP, Dutt informed the matter to him, who directed Namkum police to register an FIR on August 31. After the complaint was lodged, Singh asked the glass dealer to negotiate.
“After negotiations, Thakur reduced the amount to Rs 20,000. As had been planned, Dutt asked Thakur to take Rs 10,000 as advance. Thakur came yesterday afternoon at his shop in Lowadih and was caught red-handed. Later, Thakur gave information about Bakhla,” the SP added.
Thakur and Bhakla, residents of Gossa and Kaccha Bari villages, respectively, were living in a hideout for a month at Kamde on the outskirts of Ranchi district.
After Bhagat’s arrest in 2009, Thakur formed a small group of extortionists known as Bambaiya Group. “Six cases of murder and extortion are filed against him at different police stations,” the SP added.