Sopore: Police on Saturday claimed to have arrested three people including an Imam for impersonating as militants and collecting money from the general public in north Kashmir’s Sopore.
In a statement, police said: “A complaint received from one person (name withheld) stating therein that he has received a letter on the letter pad of Lashkar-e-Taiba wherein he has been directed to pay an amount of Rs 50,000 for the banned outfit, as the organisation is in dire need of funds for carrying out various activities of the organisation.”
It said: “Upon receipt of the complaint, FIR No 11/2021 U/S 13 ULPA 452,393,120-B, 511 IPC was registered at PS Sopore and investigation was taken up. During the course of the investigation which involved the utilization of human resources and technical means to trace the culprits, it came to fore that three persons namely Ishfaq Ahmad Reshi, son of Ali Mohd Reshi ( Maruti Eco driver by profession), Mumtaz Ahmad War, son of Mohd Maqbool War (Imaam by profession) and Abdul Qayoom Ganie, son of Mohd Sultan Ganie (Mason by profession), all residents of Warpora mastered a plan to collect money from the complainant.”
Police said it arrested the accused trio and upon interrogation, they revealed how they were blackmailing the innocent general public and prominent businessmen of the area.
“Accused confessed that they used to identify the target first and then subsequently devise a plan to blackmail and loot the money by sending a letter on the letter pad of Lashkar-e-Taiba through kids. A Letter pad and a stamp have been recovered from their possession,” police said.
Police added that their area of operation was not confined to Warpora only but they have extorted money from Main Town Sopore, As of now police have identified 8 persons who have been looted by them and some posters demanding money have been recovered from them.
“It is pertinent to mention here that Sopore police have busted a same type of Gang in the Year 2019 and all the four accused involved in the commission of the crime were booked under PSA who were using fake AK – 47 for extortion,” police said.
It said the investigation of the case is on and some more arrests are expected.