28 January,2023 07:58 AM IST | Mumbai | Samiullah Khan
The duo have been produced before a court Pic/Hanif Patel
The Navghar police have arrested two accused for âraiding* a house in Bhayandar posing as policemen, accusing the family of prostitution and demanding Rs 5 lakh. According to the police, the duo, posing as police officers, forcibly entered a flat in a building at Bhayandar East on the evening of Republic Day, and started searching the house. After seeing a couple in the bedroom, they accused the family of prostitution and threatened to arrest them.
They demanded Rs 5 lakh to arrest, and the family members were so scared that they decided to give the money by mortgaging their jewellery. The quick action of a friend whom the complainant called to seek help led to the arrest of the accused. The arrested accused have been identified as Sudarshan Khandare, 40, and Jitendra Patel, 40. Khandare was arrested by the Navghar police in 2022 in a similar case.
The 23-year-old complainant works as a receptionist in a school in Andheri and had been staying with her mother and siblings in the rented house for seven months. As per her statement to the Navghar police, on the evening of January 26, someone knocked on the door of her house. When she opened the door, two men who claimed to be from the Navghar police station entered the house, and alleged that they had information that a prostitution racket was going on there.
The accused Jitendra Patel and Sudarshan Khandare (right) have a past record, the police said
As per the statement, the complainant*s friends were in one bedroom, while the couple present in the other bedroom were her mother*s friends. Her mother was busy preparing snacks for them. "Seeing the couple, the fake police threatened to arrest us. Later, they demanded Rs 5 lakh to avoid arresting us. We were scared and as we did not have that much money, we decided to raise the funds by selling our mother*s jewellery. I took my mother*s gold and went to the jewellery shop, and one of the accused came with me. He waited outside the shop while the other accused stayed in the house with my mother," the statement said.
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"I got Rs 40,000 from the jewellery sale and called one of my friends and asked her for money, and told her what had happened. She advised me to call the police. When we returned home, we saw police personnel in uniform waiting for us. I revealed the entire incident to them," read the complainant*s statement. As it turns out, the complainant*s friend had called the police.
"The accused duo was taken to the police station and booked under various sections of Indian Penal Code," a police officer said. During the inquiry and interrogation, it was revealed that the duo were earlier arrested in a similar case last year. The accused would search for a house where a senior citizen or woman stays alone, lure her into renting a bedroom for a couple of hours, and send couples there. Later they would make a video of the couple and blackmail the male person and the senior citizen," added the officer.
"Other gang members would also âraid* the house posing as police personnel and threaten to arrest or take the house owner to the police station, demanding money," the officer added. "Last year, the gang was caught by the Navghar police for extorting Rs 70,000 similarly. They told the victim that they would arrest them for being part of the flesh trade and demanded Rs 2 lakh as a bribe to settle the matter," the officer added.
"The duo has been booked under Sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 170 (personating a public servant), 34 (common intention), 384 (extortion), 385 (putting a person in fear), 419 (cheating by personation), and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and they were produced before a court today and remanded in police custody," said Senior Inspector Milind Desai of the Navghar police station. The accused have a past record in Mumbai, Mira Road, and Navghar, he added.