Port Blair, May 15: The South Andaman Police has busted an extortion ring with the arrest of one Ratan Kr. Verma, S/o Late Mihi Lall Verma, (50) yrs, R/o Austinabad. The arrested person is an accomplice of one Manoj Paul who has been making extortion bids to various persons threatening them with dire consequences.

Written complaints were received from two government officials and one advocate at PS Aberdeen that they have been receiving repeated extortion calls from one Manoj Paul who had been demanding huge sums of money failing which they would face dire consequences and were also threatened that their family members would be harmed and even murdered.

Immediately, three cases vide crime no 234/20, 235/20 and 236/20 under sections 384/504/511/34 of Indian Penal Code were registered at PS Aberdeen. Considering the gravity of the situation, a team was formed under the guidance of Insp. Sanjay Kumar (SHO) which comprised of SI Satvir Singh, SI P Jeevan, HC Sunil Singh Yadav and PC Suresh. The investigation team swung into action and through intensive probe, which involved technical surveillance as well as deploying human intelligence, very quickly identified and arrested one of the main accused Ratan Kumar Verma.

Ratan Kumar Verma is a resident of Austinabad and a self-styled President of a local NGO with a dubious name “Human Rights Association of India”. He is the associate of one Manoj Paul, a resident of Diglipur, who has been making these extortion calls to the complainants asking them to deposit the money with Ratan Kumar Verma and threatening to harm them and their family members in case his illegal demand were not met. The other accused namely Manoj Paul is presently absconding. Non-bailable warrants have been issued against him and all-out efforts, in coordination with other state police forces, are being made to trace and arrest him.

The accused was produced before the Hon’ble Court of CJM, Port Blair on 14/05/2020 and has been remanded to police custody for collection of further investigation.

The investigations so far have clearly brought out the roles of Manoj Paul and Ratan Kumar Verma in making these threatening calls and also insulting the modesty of two other women complainants. However, certain other evidences have also come to light, which point towards the use of the said NGO by the accused persons as an organized extortion racket to extort money from other persons and to carry out other illegal activities. This angle is also being probed thoroughly.

In order to help police in these investigations, any person who has been contacted by the accused persons for extortion or any other criminal/illegal activities may kindly approach PS Aberdeen. They may also contact the police/ investigation team on 112, 03192-232100 and 03192-233077. The identity of the informant will be kept secret.

The investigation is being closely monitored by SDPO South Andaman, Superintendent of Police, South Andaman District and other senior police officers. A&N Police has also warned all such NGOs formed with ulterior motives and said that such NOGs are in the radar of the A&N Police.