Jamshedpur, April 11: In a bizarre incident, the complaint of �extortion’ lodged by a city-based builder with the Sitaramdera police station against a BJP activist Pavan Agrawal took an ugly turn as the police put up the builder in the lock-up instead of the accused extortionist late last night.
The builder Nikhar Sablok was arrested under the provisions of the Adivasi-Harijan Atrocity Act. The police accused him on the basis of an FIR lodged by Manish Rajak, a resident of Sitaramdera.
Sablok, a BJP supporter, was released on PR bond from the police station following the intervention of a saffron brigade supported by state civil supplies minister Saryu Rai. However, soon Sablok�s release, the police attacked a group of newsmen and press photographers who had gone to cover the incident.
Seven scribes were also injured during the assault and they had to be taken to the MGM Medical College and Hospital for treatment around midnight.
The police have, however, registered a case against Pavan Agrawal, the BJP man who had allegedly demanded Rs 5 lakh from the builder, but are yet to arrest him.
Senior superintendent of police, Anoop T Mathew today said that the incident is being investigated and it was too early to comment.
“The matter related to the allegation of `rangdaari’ against Agrawal and the allegation against Sablok will be investigated. The SP (city) Chandan Jha will supervise both the cases and we will take appropriate action against those who will be found guilty,” said Mathew.
After protests from the media, the senior SP relieved Sitaramdera police officer in-charge, Jayanth Tirkey from his post and sent him to the Police Line. In addition, four policemen found prima facie guilty have also been suspended.
Sablok who is a resident of Circuit House Area in Bistupur has said in the FIR that he has a building project at Bhalubasa in Sitaramdera.
He recalled that two days back, a group of people had demanded him to pay subscription for celebrating Ramnavami under the auspicious of Rajak Samaj at Bhalubasa.
They demanded considerably a big amount he declined to oblige. But on Saturday evening, Agrawal approached Sablok by going over to the latter’s office at Bhalubasa and left his cell-number as the builder was not at the office.
According to the FIR, when the builder gave a call to Agrawal, the latter allegedly demanded Rs 5 lakh as `rangdaari’ and also threatened he would not let him carry out his building project if the amount as demanded is not paid.
Interestingly, soon after Sablok had lodged the FIR, Manish Rajak, who belongs to the Scheduled Caste community and a member of the Rajak Samaj-sponsored Ramnavami puja had lodged a counter FIR, alleging the builder to have humiliated and insulted him when they had gone to collect subscription for Ramnavami puja.
Though Sablok had lodged his FIR first, the police acted on the FIR lodged by Manish Rajak and put Sablok behind bars. Sources in BJP revealed that as Agrawal is close to Chief Minister Raghubar Das, and hence the Sitaramdera police station did what Agrawal forced them to do.