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Man held for ‘extortion’ bid

A 36-year-old man from Nashik has been arrested on charge of trying to extort Rs five lakh from a real estate agent on behalf of a self-styled godwoman by giving death threats, police said today.

During the preliminary probe, it was found that the accused Dharmendra Janaani wanted to implicate the godwoman as he felt that his brother lost everything because of her, police said.

According to crime branch inspector Avinash Sawant, Janaani’s brother Mayur, who resides in Virar, had become an ardent follower of the self-styled godwoman, whose name was not disclosed by the investigators.

According to the accused, his brother later became bankrupt.

Sawant said, “Janaani wanted to take revenge. He picked up some mobile numbers from the advertisements published in newspapers and sent text messages to the businessmen last Saturday stating they should pay Rs five lakh to the godwoman, whose name was also mentioned in the messages.”

One of the victims, who received the message from Janaani’s number is a real estate agent, a resident of suburban Kandivali. He registered a complaint at Charkop police station last Monday.

“After sending the messages, Janaani stopped using the mobile handset,” said another officer.

In the message, Janaani threatened the real estate agent that the latter should pay Rs five lakh or else his daughter would be killed, police said.

Acting on a tip off, Mumbai Police Crime branch picked up Janaani yesterday and handed him over to Charkop police station, which placed him under arrest.

During the interrogation, Janaani confessed that he tried to implicate the godwoman in a bid to trouble her as his brother Mayur lost everything because of her, police said.

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