Mahabubnagar Police in Telangana foiled an attempt by Maoists to allegedly convert Rs 12 lakhs demonetized currency notes through employees of a construction company laying roads in forest area in Bhadradri-Kothgudem District, 80 kms from Khammam. Police arrested the two employees and a post master who was trying to help them for a commission. Mahabubnagar SP Rema Rajeshwari said that members of the CPI (Maoists) handed over two bags full of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to two employees of Gaja Engineering Pvt. Ltd, working in the newly created Bhadradri-Kothgudem District, on November 12 and told them to convert and get new notes.
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Police said that the two employees — Chintha Trinadha Rao, Deputy Project Manager in Gaja Engineering Company Private Limited, and Lolla Siddarth, an engineer in the same company — had on November 12 gone to a forest area near Maoist Martyrs Stupa in Bheemavaram village in Chattisgarh to hand over Rs 1.30 lakhs cash as a commission to carry on their project after they received a threatening letter from the CPI (Maoist)’s District Committee Secretary of Khammam.
The two employees told police that in September, while working in charla forest area, an unidentified person came and threatened the JCB operator by showing a gun and stopped the work. After one month, again one unknown person came and handed over a letter allegedly from the CPI (Maoist)’s District Committee Secretary of Khammam. In that letter deputy project manager Rao was asked to come alone to Maoist Martyrs Stupa in Bheemavaram village in Chhattisgarh on October 28. The letter also warned him against informing the police. Rao asked his assistant engineer Sidharth to accompany him. When they reached Bheemavaram village on October 28, an unidentified person came on a bicycle and asked the duo to follow him and took them two or three kms into the forest.
There, two persons clad in olive green uniform came with weapons. They threatened and demanded they be given 10 per cent commission on the ongoing projects, but finally agreed to receive Rs 1,30,000. They duo were dropped back at Bheemavaram Stupa. Rao told police that within the next few days he arranged and kept the money ready. Meanwhile, an unknown person came again and delivered a letter which instructed him to come to the same spot on November 12. Although, the demonitization decision was announced on November 8 night, on November 12, Trinadha Rao and Sidharth carried the money in both old and some new notes and went there. Three masked men came with weapons and took only the new currency notes and returned the old Rs 500 and Rs 1000. They also handed them two bags full of cash and told them to convert the money into new currency in Rs 2000 notes.
When he refused they first threatened Rao and then convinced him to support and cooperate with the Maoists and also promised to give him a share for his efforts if gets it converted into new currency. Rao agreed and came back. He and Siddharth decided to contact Siddharth’s friend G Satyanarayana Chary who works as a branch post master in Manthangode village of Makhtal mandal in Mahbubnagar District. The duo told police that to help them exchange the money, Satyanarayana Chary demanded 30 per cent commission but later settled for 15 per cent. He asked the duo to come to Manthangode on November 30. But Rao and Siddharth arrived today afternoon at the house of post master Chary Manthangode village in with bundles of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. While they were discussing how to go about exchanging the money, cops raided the house. SP Rema Rajeshwari said that the Station House Officer of Makhtal Police Station received a tip off from the village about two persons trying to convert old currency into new, and raided the house which turned out to be that of the post master. Cops recovered 800 notes of old Rs 1,000, 800 notes of Rs 500, and 14 notes of Rs 100 amounting to Rs 12,01400. All three have been arrested and sent to judicial custody.