Police begin probe into ‘extortion’ by JD-U legislator


Patna : The Bihar police have begun probing the extortion charges levelled against a ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) legislator by a Mumbai-based firm engaged in the construction of East-West corridor under the Prime Minister’s Golden Quadrilateral project in Bihar.

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The state government asked the police to probe the case, after Gammon India threatened to stop the construction work following alleged extortion demand by JD-U legislator Neeraj Kumar Singh alias Babloo.

“Gammon India’s officials asked the state government to provide security and take action against the legislator who had demanded extortion from a company official,” said a state home department official Wednesday.

The legislator allegedly threatened Gammmon India’s camp office manager P.K. Basak in Supaul district and demanded money from him, said a company official.

Babloo allegedly demanded Rs.900,000 per month from Basak to allow the company to continue work in the area. The company officials have lodged an FIR.

However, Babloo, who represents Raghopur assembly constituency, denied the charges. “It is a baseless allegation against me,” he said.

He said he was being targeted by Gammon India for demanding adequate compensation and employment to residents whose land had been acquired for construction of the roads.

Meanwhile, the district administration has deployed security at the Gammon India’s camp office in view of the threat.

This is not the first time that a case involving a ruling legislator has come to light.

In 2006, the Power Grid Corporation’s rural electrification work was affected in Bihar’s Aurangabad district following demands for extortion by a suspended JD-U legislator Sunil Pandey.