Four people in Gujarat were arrested on Friday for allegedly posing as Vigilance officers and extorting money from a woman threatening to book her husband in a bootlegging case, the police said.
The four are Gaurang Vaja, Akshay Patel, and Jitu Odh – all residents of Ahmedabad – and Manu Raval, hailing from Gandhinagar, said officials of Morva Hadaf station in Panchmahal district.
The police have recovered six mobile phones and cash of Rs 40,000 paid to the accused by the woman, whose husband was earlier booked under Prohibition Law.
According to the police, the men dressed in plain clothes and armed with batons arrived in a white vehicle posing as state Vigilance officers on Friday noon, ‘raided’ the house of Arvinda Patel, a resident of Sant Road Tekri, and took Rs 40,000 by threatening to book her and her husband in a bogus case under the Prohibition Law.
“They continued to carry out a ‘vigilance’ raid despite my requests that my husband has stopped indulging in bootlegging after being previously booked in a case,” Aravinda said in her complaint.
Patel has said, “I was alone at home and asked them to wait for some male members to arrive as no woman constable accompanied them. But they forced their way into my home and provision store that was attached to the house”.
Aravinda told the police that although they did not find anything in the house and shop, they brought a bag of liquor bottles from their car, placed it before her and demanded Rs 1 lakh for evading arrest.
The complainant has said that the men refused to leave without the money and “pulled out chairs and sat in the courtyard “, while the complainant went to a jewellery store on Sant Road to mortgage her gold jewellery to pay the accused.
“I mortgaged the gold jewellery I had at home and brought Rs 40000 to pay the accused… They accepted the cash and were about to leave when my brother-in-law arrived and asked them to show their identity cards… The accused, however, intimidated him and took him away in the car under the pretext of going to the police station,” the woman stated.
Aravinda also followed the car, and arrived at the police station and she narrated the sequence of events, which is when the police ascertained that the four accused did not belong to the department.
The district police then intercepted the accused and arrested them after verifying their identities.
The accused have been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 384 (punishment for extortion), 452 (house trespass after preparation for assault), 170 (pretending to hold public office and falsely impersonating), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of peace) and 114 (crime committed in presence of abettor).