Three persons arrested for impersonating as Maoists in Bargarh

Bargarh: Three persons, including a deputy forest ranger, who posed as Maoists to extort money from government officials and contractors, have been arrested in Bargarh district, police said.

The two others, who were arrested along with the official on Sunday, were siblings.

“The gang used to threaten government officials and construction contractors, and extort money from them by impersonating as Maoists,” Bargarh Superintendent of Police, Mukesh Kumar Bhamoo said on Monday.

The three persons used to demand money ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 3,00,000 from the officers and the contractors, he said.

The accused were identified as Deputy Forest Ranger BK Sethy of Kendrapara district, besides Dolagaobinda Sahu and his younger brother Balaram Sahu of Gadhapara village.

The police also seized Rs 1.65 lakh in cash, three mobile phones and two bikes from their possession.

Though the accused were extorting money since the last five years, the victims had not informed the police out of fear, the SP said.

They used to make phone calls to their targets and ask them to hand over the extortion money in a forest, he said.

However, a contractor lodged a complaint with the Bhatli Police Station on Saturday after the accused extorted money from him for the second time.

Following the complaint, the police formed a special team to arrest the culprits.

“A case has been registered and an investigation is on,” the SP said.