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Two held for extortion bid

Two persons, who were trying to extort Rs 15 lakh from a Ranchi medicine shop owner by posing as Al-Qaeda terrorists, were arrested on Wednesday evening.

Raja Khan and Mohammed Suhail — aged around 20-25 and residents of Azad Colony in Lower Bazar police station area, were nabbed from the terrace of the Bariatu branch of Union Bank of India, where they were hiding after being chased by the shopowner, Yashir, around 7pm.

The place is near the clinic of noted neurophysician K.K. Sinha in Sadar police station area.

Yashir was accompanied by a few local residents, who had rushed to help him after they saw him chasing some people and shouting “chor chor”.

According to deputy superintendent of police (Sadar) Satyaveer Singh, one of the two arrested had sent a letter to Yashir around 11am on Wednesday, asking him to cough up Rs 50,000 within 24 hours.

The duo introduced themselves as two notorious criminals of the city — Guddu Khan and Mohammed Ibrahim — and also gave a contact number, asking the shop owner to call them.

“When the shop owner did not call them, they turned up around 5.30pm to give him a reminder. This time, they showed a letter purportedly written by Al-Qaeda terrorists and demanding Rs 15 lakh. But instead of getting scared, the shop owner acted bravely and chased them. The duo fled and ran to the roof of the bank and hid there. The shopkeeper then called us,” Singh.

A police team reached the spot, cordoned off the bank and compelled the extortionists to give in.

“But before they were arrested, they threw away their firearms. We recovered a knife that they had hidden in a heap of sand on the rooftop,” the officer added.

During interrogations, police chanced upon the name of an aide of the duo.

“We came to know during interrogations that one Akhtar is also involved in this racket. Efforts are being made to arrest him. Till he is arrested, it will not be possible for us to give more details in the case,” Singh told The Telegraph.