Kashmir: Gang of extortionists busted, 7 arrested
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Last Updated: Saturday, February 19, 2011, 17:47
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 reporters here.

"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 Al-Badr militants.

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 factories.

"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.


First Published: Saturday, February 19, 2011, 17:47

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