BIRGUNJ, June 3: A man who works at a financial institution has changed two SIM cards in 10 days after being continuously threatened to fork up Rs 500,000. Throwing away the SIM cards, however, hasn´t worked for the 55-year-old as the criminals now call him at his office.
He has pleaded before his coworkers, who got the wind about the extortion calls, to keep it to themselves. “I cannot go to the police. The callers know the location of my home,” he said. The man, who says he has no problem in parting with Rs 5,000-10,000, is now looking for a reliable mediator who could persuade the extortionists to settle for a lower amount.
“Our job becomes difficult when victims themselves keep mum. We are serious about controlling crimes and hope that more people will come forward once the court punishes those currently facing extortion charges,” successor SP Rabindra KC said.
Chief of Ward Police Office, Birta Inspector Sujan Joshi who had arrested three persons involved in making extortion calls to businessmen, handed them over to the District Police Office on Wednesday. Joshi said he is investigating four other such cases and is close to delivering results in the cases.
Joshi opined that the government should formulate tougher laws to deter extortionists who terrorize public.
Human rights activist KC Lamichhane said everybody from teachers, Village Development Committee (VDC) secretaries to businessmen and industrialists face extortion threats. “The problem had been stamped down for a while but it has again started to surface. Inadequate resources for investigating such cases make it difficult to deal with the problem,” Lamichhane opined.
Recent cases show increasing involvement of persons familiar to the victims in cases of extortion. One Sashi Kumar Gupta of Parshurampur-3 was found involved in extorting the owner of Bol Bam Petrol Pump where he worked. Similarly, Ekendra Kumar Karna of Biruwaguthi-5, who worked as a pharmacist at Arya Pharma Lab in Pipara, had received extortion threats from his colleague Upendra Khan Tharu of Sakhuwaprasauni VDC.