12 booked for demanding protection money from a stone crushing company
The police on Thursday night booked 12 men for allegedly demanding protection money of ₹1 lakh from the owner of a stone crushing unit in Bilaspur area, said the police on Friday.
According to the police, on Wednesday around 2 am, six men came to a stone-crushing zone in village Uton in Bilaspur and demanded protection money from the staffers. They informed them that the owner was not present and instead shared his mobile number.
Naveen Kumar, station house officer(SHO) of Bilaspur police station, said that the following day,12 men visited the crusher zone and assaulted the staff and owner’s son who were sitting in the office. “The suspects were carrying pistols and sticks. They asked for protection money and threatened to kill them,” he said.
Kumar said the suspects also urinated upon the staff. They snatched their mobile phones to ensure that they could not inform the police.
Amit Dagar, owner’s son, said, “I was working in the office, when 12 of them arrived and asked me to pay the amount, which I refused. They threatened me of dire consequences. I tried to convince them but four of them got violent and started throwing the furniture around,” he said, adding that they took them at gunpoint and asked them to arrange the amount within a week.
The victim also told the police that the suspects were demanding money for the last three months but they did not pay any heed to their demands.
The incidents of extortion from industrial areas have increased in the last three months, said the police.
The victim informed police control room and recorded his statement on Thursday night, following which a case was registered under sections 147, 149, 323, 385, 506 and 452 of Indian Penal Code(IPC) and relevant sections of the Arms Act at Bilaspur police station.
The police said they have identified four men who were earlier booked for similar cases and are members of a local gang. Kumar said they have started the investigation and are conducting raids to arrest the suspects.