Mumbai: 2 'Self-Styled' Journalists Booked For Extortion From Bhayandar-Based Civil Contractor

Mumbai: 2 'Self-Styled' Journalists Booked For Extortion From Bhayandar-Based Civil Contractor

A mason by profession who also takes contracts of repairing and adding floors to tenements in slum clusters, the complainant-Dinesh Gautam in his statement to the police said that the duo identified as-Sanjay Thakur and Hitesh Dave constantly harassed him and extorted money.

Suresh GolaniUpdated: Saturday, May 04, 2024, 10:11 PM IST
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Mumbai: 2 “Self-Styled” Journalists Booked For Extortion From Bhayandar-Based Civil Contractor | Representative Image

Mumbai: The police are on the lookout for two “self-styled” journalists who have been booked for extorting money from a Bhayandar-based civil contractor by issuing threats of getting structures demolished by filing complaints with the local municipal ward office.

A mason by profession who also takes contracts of repairing and adding floors to tenements in slum clusters, the complainant-Dinesh Gautam in his statement to the police said that the duo identified as-Sanjay Thakur and Hitesh Dave constantly harassed him and extorted money. Fearing losses due to demolition of structures which are usually constructed sans permission from the civic body, Gautam had been acceding to their demands.

However, the duo started demanding money for every small contract he bagged. The duo demanded Rs.6,000 to shelter an illegal construction on 25, April. Fed up with the demands, Gautam agreed to pay, but recorded the entire sequence of events and conversation as he handed over the money to them at a tea shop in Bhayandar.

Armed with the evidence, Gautam registered a complaint at the Bhayandar police station, following which an offence under sections 384 (extortion), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC was registered against the duo on Saturday.

Apart from moving around as a journalist, one of the accused-Sanjay Thakur also claimed to be the vice president of the local BJP unit and flaunted photographs with senior leaders on social media platforms.

Notably, the twin-city is swarming with professional complainants who masquerade as reporters and have formed a nexus with corrupt civic officers to extort money from contractors and builders by filing complaints and RTI queries which are later withdrawn. Meanwhile the duo was yet to be arrested till reports last came in, as further investigations were underway.

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