NEARLY A month after Iqbal Kaskar was arrested in an alleged extortion case, gangster Ravi Mallesh Bora, alias D K Rao, was arrested by the Mumbai Police on charges of extorting money from a consultant to a construction project. Rao, known to be a Chhota Rajan aide, has been out of jail since May 2016 when he was acquitted in an extortion case involving a builder. The complainant in the case has told the police that before Rajan was arrested in Indonesia and brought back to India in October 2015, the gangster had spoken to the complainant. The police are checking if Rajan, who is currently in Tihar jail, was involved in the racket.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Dilip Sawant said: “We had information that ever since he was acquitted in 2016, Rao had been calling up builders in Dharavi area and demanding extortion money. When a consultant for an SRA project approached us with a complaint, an FIR was registered at Dharavi police station and Rao was arrested by the Crime Investigation Unit (CIU) last night (Wednesday).”
In his statement to the police, the complainant has said one of Rao’s aides had come to meet him. Rajan then allegedly called on the aide’s phone and spoke to the complainant. “He began the conversation with ‘Jai Hind’ and enquired about the SRA project and if there was any dispute. After a discussion, he said ‘Jai Hind’ and hung up. A few weeks later, I read in the papers that he had been arrested in Indonesia and was being brought back to the country,” he told the police.
An officer said: “He is not telling us the exact conversation that took place between him and Rajan. While Rao was a Rajan aide, our information says he now runs his own gang. However, if we find evidence that Rajan was involved, we will name him as an accused.”An officer said the consultant had secured permissions for developing a 1,000-tenement slum rehabilitation project in Antop Hill area in 2014. Some of the promoters had told him to seek permission from Rao, who was then behind bars. “Rao expects to get a cut from projects in Dharavi-Antop Hill belt. After he was acquitted and came out in 2016, he started making calls to the consultant. He asked the complainant to leave the project and pay Rs 50 lakh as extortion money,” Sawant said. He kept threatening the builder over six-seven months after which the builder approached us and an FIR was registered.
Rao was produced in a court and remanded in police custody till October 18.