Bisra police arrested a group of criminals, who tried to extort levy money from a contractor posing as Maoists. However, luck ran out for the miscreants as the contractor reported the matter to the police.

The arrested are Junul Topno, 38, James Topno, 23, Madhusudan Gudia, 23, Lengdu and Rup Soy, 25 and 35 respectively. Besides, police recovered a country made pistol, an empty magazine, two buckets, a few iron rods, two mobile phones and some other items from them.

The minor irrigation department was constructing a check dam on a stream on the border of Odisha and Jharkhand. Work on the project was nearing completion. On the night of 23 January in the guise of Maoists, the arrested persons, vandalised the construction site and put it to fire. The two contractors, Basant Kumar Jena and Gayadhara Mallick received a levy letter of Rs. 3 lakhs.

The letter was handed over to them by Lengdu and Rup. Both of them belonged to the Sagjori village of Jharkhand, and were working as watchman at the construction site. Later on Basant received one such phone call demanding the protection money. However, the duo did not panic and informed the incident to the Bisra police.

The watchmen were the initial suspects and their call records led to the entire gang said the police. “Junul Topno was earlier arrested in 2013 by Jharkhand police and in jail he befriended James. Later on Junul got into illicit liquor trading in Sagjodi village and was staying with his in laws. Madhusudan, Junul and James came closer and decided to extort money from the contractors posing as Maoists said the police.