Pampore: Police on Saturday claimed to have
busted a gang of extortionists posing as `Al-Badr` militants
and demanding money from factory owners and landlords in south
Kashmir`s Awantipora region.
"We received complaints from people claiming that they
were getting threatening phone calls demanding money,"
Superintendent of Police Awantipora Muhammad Irshad told
"Seven people have been arrested so far," he said,
adding, police suspect the involvement of over a dozen persons
in the extortion racket.
The group of extortionists, active in Pampore and Khrew
localities of Awantipora police district, 21 kms from Srinagar
used to call people in a "non-Kashmiri accent" and pose as
Pampore is the saffron basket of Kashmir Valley and
Khrew is an industrial area where many entrepreneurs and
business houses have set up their units including cement
"The callers were posing themselves as Rehman Bhai,
Ubaid Bhai, Abdullah Bhai and Molvi Sahib - foreign militants
of Al Badr outfit," Irshad said.
After receiving the complaints about threatening calls
police put "suspected phone numbers under surveillance" and
zeroed in on the gang.
Police said the group was active in the area for more
than two years now.
"We are still working on how much money they have
extorted," Irshad said.
He said police has also arrested six burglars involved in
several night-time robberies in Pampore town.