Duo arrested for trying to extort Rs 20 crore from Hiranandani Builders

Duo arrested for trying to extort Rs 20 crore from Hiranandani Builders
The accused were arrested while accepting Rs one crore extortion amount (Representational Image, Courtesy: Lokesh R/Twitter)

A member of Pune Zilla Parishad and his associate have been arrested from Mulund while accepting Rs one crore extortion amount from a prominent Powai-based builder.

The accused Gulab Parkhe earlier worked in the builder’s construction company. He was caught red-handed yesterday along with his associate Vithal Falke.

According to an official with Powai police, the builder in question is Hiranandani Developers.

“Parkhe had worked in the construction company for about six years, but quit the job last year. He then went to his village in Junnar tehsil in Pune district. There he got associated with a political party and was elected as a Pune ZP member,” another official said.

Soon, Parkhe raised objections over his former employer’s “illegal” construction activities in Powai and filed a complaint against them with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

A construction company official contacted the accused in November last year to know the reason behind his complaint.

“Parkhe then demanded Rs 20 crore from them to settle the matter. However, after negotiations, the amount was finally settled for Rs six crore, to be paid in installments,” he said.

“On January 10, the company paid Rs 10 lakh to him as the first installment. But the accused started pressuring them and threatened them he would not let them go ahead with the project,” the official said.

The company approached Powai police and lodged a complaint on Wednesday.

“Police laid a trap and arrested the accused and his associate red-handed from a hotel in Mulund while accepting the extortion amount of Rs one crore last evening,” DCP (Zone X) N D Reddy said.

The duo has been booked under IPC sections 384 (extortion) and 34 (common intention). They were produced in court today, which sent them to a two-day police custody.

With agency inputs

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