SRINAGAR – Police on Saturday claimed to have busted a gang of extortionists by arresting three youth, who were posing as militants and looting non-local truckers along the highways.
Addressing a news conference in the outskirts of this capital city today, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar, Dr Haseeb Mughal said the police have been receiving regular complaints from many days about non-local truck drivers being looted on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway near Parimpora.
“The ring leader of the extortion gang is among the three youth arrested by police. They would stop non-local drivers and extort money from them by showing them dummy AK-47 rifles and toy pistols,” Mughal said.
He said that the fourth gang member was still at large and police was making efforts to nab him.
The SSP said that the interrogation of the trio led to the recovery of 2 dummy AK-47 guns, a toy pistol and a knife. The group, he said had extorted an amount of Rs 2.84 lakh and some jewellery from the truckers. However, police, he said have recovered Rs 14, 200 from the possession of these extortionists.
The SSP identified the arrested trio as Aqib Mushtaq and Rameez Dar of Noorbagh and Shabir Ahmed Fakhtoo of Bemina.
Mughal said that the gang was active for nearly four months and the their latest highway robbery was reported on December 11
After receiving the complaints, we took the matter seriously and thought the issue may be linked with militancy. Four FIRs were registered in district Srinagar in this regard,” he said.
He said that police took 20 days to investigate the matter in a very professional manner.
“After investigating the matter thoroughly, we found that this case was not linked to militancy,” he added.
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