A construction company building a bridge across the Ganges in neighbouring Kaushambi district has alleged that it received an extortion demand for Rs 20 lakh from a man claiming to be an associate of gangster Chhota Shakeel.
Police are investigating complaints by executives of Larsen and Toubro (L&T) that a man named Taufeeq, from whose father Kalimuddin the firm had bought some land along the river bed, had been threatening them for the money.
Taufeeq, who claims that the company had not paid his father the sum promised for the land, allegedly visited L&T site accountant Raghavendra last week and said that Chhota Shakeel had demanded Rs 20 lakh and that the gangster would call him up soon.
Some time later the accountant reportedly received a call on his mobile from a Dubai number, but did not pick it up. He told his project manager who in turn informed the police.
Allahabad DIG Akhilesh Mehrotra said they had seized Taufeeq's motorbike and expect to arrest him soon.
On the Chhota Shakeel connection, he said there have been allegations that Taufeeq had been involved in a contract killing in Mumbai at the behest of the gangster.
"The links would be verified after his arrest. Meanwhile, we are trying to trace the caller from Dubai," he said.