Two persons were arrested for allegedly extorting money from building contractors to fund Maoist insurgent groups and Rs 2.5 lakh were seized from them, a senior police officer said on Sunday. “Based on a tip-off, we arrested two men- Jaipal Barkade and Rooplal Marawi- yesterday (Saturday) and recovered Rs 2.5 lakh from them,” Balaghat’s Superintendent of Police Amit Sanghi said. Their interrogation revealed that this money was collected from building and road contractors, as well as from those engaged in forest produce procurement.
The accused were taking the money to deliver to naxals of Malajkhand Dalam, the officer said. “These people were carrying the money by hiding it in rice sacks when they were arrested under Lanji police station area in the district,” he said.
According to Sanghi, both the accused have been helping the naxals since a long time. “We are investigating further to know how many times money was sent to the banned groups earlier. We are also identifying the contractors, who gave money to them under pressure of the naxal groups,” he added. Such contractors would be told to stop buckling under pressure of naxal groups and report such extortion attempts to the police. Police have registered a case against both the arrested duo under relevant sections of IPC, he added.