Construction firm in Bihar gets extortion demand


Patna : A construction company engaged in road building projects here has got an extortion demand of Rs. 10 million from an unidentified gang which has threatened to disrupt its projects if the money is not paid.

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An official of the Kolkata based Tantia Construction Company got the extortion demand on his cell phone Saturday night, company sources said.

Taking note of the matter, Bihar Home secretary Afzal Amanullah has asked the Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Kundan Krishnan to investigate.

"When I was informed about the alleged extortion demand made to the Tantia construction company official, I immediately asked the police to inquire the case," Amanullah said.

"The case is being investigated. Police is doing its job." Kundan Krishnan said.

The state government has reportedly assured that security would be provided to company officials.

Now, the miscreants are harassing the company officials to force them to pay the amount, company sources said.

The company's Deputy Project Manager Nain Kumar was chased by unidentified men when he was returning to his residence Monday night. "I somehow reached my residence safely after some strangers in a Maruti car chased my vehicle," Kumar said.

Last Friday, a Tantia Construction staff was beaten up by criminals near the Pataliputra roundabout here where a road construction project of the company is in progress.

"In last ten days, criminals threatened a few other company officials with the clear intention of forcing the company to pay the money," an official of the company said.

Last week, the company bagged one of the largest single orders for construction of new roads in the state at a cost of Rs. 1.78 billion.

A few months ago, two engineers of the road building firm Narsingh Construction, Niushikant Singh and Rajesh Kumar Singh, were killed and four others injured at Rehta in Madhepura, around 200 km from here, for not paying an extortion demand of Rs. 10 million.

Officials of other construction companies engaged in road construction across the state have also reportedly received extortion calls. Due to these threats, many projects have either been stopped or halted in the state.

Last year, a ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) legislator Sunil Pandey allegedly demanded money from a company engaged in rural electrification in Bihar. A police complaint was lodged against him and he was jailed.