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Father, son in extortion net

A father and his younger son were arrested on Monday night for allegedly trying to extort money from a businessman with the help of the elder son, who is in jail in connection with an abduction-murder case.

Rabi Bhushan Pandey, 50, and his son Rahul, 22, were picked up from their Kidderpore home. A preliminary probe suggested that the duo, along with Rahul’s elder brother Rajkumar, alias Tinku, had been demanding money from complainant Sanjay Basu.

“Sanjay Basu has complained that Tinku had been calling him and demanding Rs 20 lakh and Rabi Bhushan and Rahul had been sending him threat messages. He alleged that Tinku had threatened him that he would meet with the same fate as Ankur Sau and his driver,” said an officer of Jadavpur police station.

Ankur, who hails from a business family, was abducted after he had left his Kasba house in the family’s Toyota Innova in April 2013. He was rescued from a forest in Deori in Giridih nine days later amid unconfirmed reports that the family had paid a hefty ransom. Days later, the driver’s body was found a few kilometres from the spot where Ankur was rescued.

Tinku is in custody in connection with the case.

Officers of Jadavpur police station, where Basu lodged his complaint, said they were yet to ascertain whether the extortion calls were made from inside the jail or not.

“We are trying to locate where the extortion calls came from. We have evidence to prove that the text messages were sent from more than one phone numbers by Rahul and his father,” said an officer.

Basu, a resident of Bijoygarh, runs three brick kilns on the southern and northern fringes of the city, police said. Rabi Bhushan and Rahul both worked for Basu till a few weeks ago.

The arrested father-son duo were produced in court on Tuesday and remanded in police custody for three days. “We will question the two accused and try to find out where they have hidden the SIM cards that were used to send the text messages,” said an officer.