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Life sentence to SP-rank officer in kidnapping, extortion case

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A Maharashtra court has sentenced a superintendent of police (SP)-rank officer and another person to life imprisonment in a 2009 kidnapping and extortion case.

Jalgaon sessions judge P Y Ladekar convicted Manoj Lohar, who is presently posted at the Home Guard Department in Mumbai in a senior administrative position, and his relative Dheeraj Yevle on January 16.

The court pronounced the sentence on Saturday and also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each on the duo.

Lohar and Yevle were convicted under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 346 (wrongful confinement in secret), 364-A (kidnapping for ransom), 385 (putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

According to the prosecution, Lohar had in 2009 forcibly kept the then zilla parishad member, Uttam Mahajan, confined at his office at Chalisgaon in Jalgaon district of North Maharashtra and two other places for two days in a bid to extort Rs 25 lakh from him.

He was at that time posted as additional SP of Chalisgaon.

Mahajan was picked up by police sub-inspector Vishwasrao Nimbalkar and brought to Lohar’s office on June 30, 2009.

Lohar had threatened to expose some illegal doings by Mahajan at the educational institutes run by the latter and demanded Rs 25 lakh from him.

He kept Mahajan confined first at his office and then at co-accused Yevle’s residence from June 30 to July 1, 2009.

Mahajan was released on July 2 after his son Manoj Mahajan contacted the then Jalgaon SP for help.

A case was registered against Lohar and Yevle on July 16, 2009 and the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) conducted a probe into it.

Lohar was arrested in June 2012 and later released on bail.

While Nimbalkar was also an accused in the case, the court acquitted him for want of evidence.

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