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Three held for trying to extort money impersonating as personal aide of Yogi Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh police’s special task force arrested the trio while they were trying to extort money from a Kanpur-based industrial group

india Updated: Aug 04, 2017 21:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Imposters,UP STF,UP CM
Uttar Pradesh police’s special task force arrested three persons for trying to extort money impersonating as personal assistant of chief minister Yogi Adityanath (Representative image)

Uttar Pradesh police on Friday arrested three persons for posing as personal assistant of chief minister Yogi Adityanath to extort money from businessmen.

The state police’s special task force (STF) nabbed the trio when they were trying to extort money from Kanpur-based RSPL group of industries that deals in dairy products, detergent, washing soaps and leather products.

After their demand was not entertained, a member of the group even called up a senior government official, impersonating as the chief minister’s aide, to instruct him to conduct raids on RSPL outlets across the state, police said.

The three have been identified as Hanuman Shukla, Ateesh Kumar Mishra and Rahul Upadhyaya.

Elaborating the modus operandi of the group, deputy superintendent of the STF Alok Singh said the fraudsters first obtained a mobile SIM by submitting fake identity proofs and then got the number registered in phone number identification application Truecaller as “CM.”

Since Truecaller is installed by most of the people using smart phones, every time the fraudsters called their target name of the CM flashed on his/her mobile screen, Singh added.

The police officer said they were alerted about the group on July 29 after Kanpur district magistrate Surendra Singh lodged a complaint against fraudsters who had called up deputy labour commissioner RK Mishra asking him to conduct raids on RSPL outlets.

When a member of the group called Mishra again, introducing himself as CM’s personal assistant Rakesh, seeking information about the action taken against the RSPL, the official became suspicious and informed the matter to the magistrate.

Singh said the fraudsters also made similar calls to Shashi Pandey, assistant to the principal secretary (food and drugs) asking him to collect the samples of Namaste India milk (one of the products of the RSPL group), which they claimed was adulterated, and initiate action against the group.

The STF busted the racket after it found out during the course of investigation that the SIM card used for making the calls was issued to one Aliganj-resident Hasan.

The STF team tracked the trio and arrested them from Kapoorthala and seized SIM card and phone handsets used to make fraudulent calls.

Of the arrested trio, Shukla was earlier associated with jailed former minister Amar Mani Tripathi and is the kingpin of the group.

As Tripathi’s aide, Shukla was also involved in kidnapping of Rahul Madhesia, son of a businessman, in December 2001. He was also arrested once by the STF earlier.

Shukla’s name also surfaced in the murder of an irrigation department junior engineer Ravi Pratap in 2006. Around 10 criminal cases are lodged against him in Lucknow, Sitapur, Gorakhpur, Gonda and Basti districts.

The probe revealed Mishra, another member of the gang, is a Class 10 dropout, who runs a degree college in Chitrakoot and a security agency in Uttarakhand.

Singh said during interrogation Mishra revealed that Shukla was brain behind the entire operation. Shukla believed that a single raid on RSPL based on their phone call will help them extort crores of rupees from the business group.

The other member of the group Rahul is a Class 8 dropout and was often used to make calls as he had good communication skills.

First Published: Aug 04, 2017 20:30 IST