Hyderabad: Utilizing local reporters and local leaders acting as mediators, two persons extorted close to Rs.60 lakh from various builders and were arrested by the Cyberabad police on Wednesday. The accused, identified as Kuncham Basanth Raja (42) and Puvvula Bhargav Kiran (24), managed to fleece businessmen by misusing laws like the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
According to deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Madhapur zone, Kuncham claimed to be a human rights activist, and a member of the animal and environmental protection cell, among other things. With that, he demanded huge amounts of money from local builders on their ongoing construction projects by saying their projects flouted environmental norms.
He would extort money by telling them that if they wanted to continue with their projects, they would have to pay him. The accused in fact filed 32 RTI applications and 23 grievance complaints with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s (GHMC) Kukatpally office, and also filed one Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the Telangana High Court against different builders. He would threaten to halt their projects.
Gundipudi Veeraiah Babu the complainant against the accused, was extorted for Rs. 8 lakhs and many like Babu paid paid lakhs of rupees similarly.
The duo was arrested on Wednesday, after which police officials investigating the case seized cash worth Rs. 2 lakh, two mobile phones, a Toyota Innova car and fake letter pads of government and non-government bodies they claimed to belong to. They will be presented in court and then be taken into judicial custody, said a press release from the Cyberabad police