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Threat to Bhagalpur jail was a hoax
January 02, 2006 13:32 IST
Last Updated: January 02, 2006 15:12 IST
A letter purportedly written by a senior Communisy Party of India (Maoist) leader to Superintendent of Bhagalpur Central Jail demanding Rs 20 lakh as extortion was a hoax, police said.
The superintendent, Vishwanath Prasad, received a letter from Nakul Kumar Gupta, who claimed to be the Kahalgaon area commander of proscribed CPI (M), through registered post on Sunday.
In the letter, the self-styled naxalite commander had demanded Rs 20 lakh from the jail superintendent; he threatened to kill him and blow up the prison in the event of his failure to obey the diktat, official sources told PTI.
The letter dated December 26, 2005, is written with red ink in which Gupta has asked the Superintendent to deposit Rs 20 lakh at his house at Purab Tola, close to the Kahalgaon railway station, by January 15.
"If I am not present, the money is to be delivered to my wife Ramita Devi. If neither of us is present, the amount should be given to Harimohan Oraon, a functionary of our organisation at Ambe-Baisa village," the letter said, claiming that the inspector of Kahalgaon police station was the naxalite outfit's 'mole' in the police establishment.
When contacted, Superintendent of Police J S Gangwar said the police, acting swiftly on the information, raided the house of Nakul Gupta but, on verification, found that he was a marginal farmer having no links with the Maoists.
"Nakul Gupta is an ordinary man and he was at his home when the police raided his house. He is not even remotely linked to the naxalites," Gangwar said.
He said Gupta had a dispute with a person to whom he had sold a piece of his land some time ago and who had refused to make full payment. The man who bought the land was lodged at Bhagalpur Central Jail in connection with the dispute until a few weeks ago and was recently enlarged on bail.
"We suspect that the man, in a bid to harass Gupta by painting him as a naxalite, wrote this letter. We are trying to locate the man. It appears he played a prank," Gangwar said.
The jail superintendent has, however, requested the district authorities to beef up security at the prison. Bhagalpur District Magistrate Bipin Kumar had recently sought at least 100 jawans of the Bihar Military Police or any para-military force for deployment at the jail following intelligence inputs that the Central jail might be a possible target of attack by naxalites.
In a daring operation, hundreds of CPI (Maoist) rebels had attacked Jehanabad sub-jail on the night of November 13 and set free or kidnapped 380 inmates, besides killing nine persons.
Controversial Rashtriya Janata Dal MP from Siwan Mohammed Shahabuddin and several CPI (Maoist) cadres and activists of the Ranvir Sena, a militia of upper caste landowners at war with naxalites, are lodged in Bhagalpur jail.
The jail superintendent had also recently requested IG (Prisons) to shift Shahabuddin to another jail apprehending breach of peace.