Two persons who allegedly used to pose as leaders of parties in power at the Centre and extort money from ministers, former and sitting MLAs, and ticket hopefuls in the name of party funds and promising them promotion were arrested here, police said today.
The most recent targets of Sanjay Tiwari– who has in the past worked as freelance poet reciter with All India Radio and also as assistant to an Arunachal Pradesh MP– were Jharkhand Minister Amar Kumar Bauri and H R Joshan, ex-Congress MLA from Punjab, whom he promised party ticket for the upcoming polls.
Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of police (Crime) said Tiwari claimed he also tried to extort money from Madan Mohan Mittal, a Punjab minister; Vikas Munda, MLA, Jharkhand; Taniya Taga, Tacho and T Jeboha (Arunachal MLAs) among others.
Police said 40-year-old Tiwari used to work with his accomplice Gaurav Sharma (23) and they used to “advertise” on OLX to “hire” people for colletcing money.
They never went to collect money in person, they said.
Tiwari has hit on his targets by posing as BJP national secretary Ram Madhav; National General Secretary of BJP, Arun Singh; and senior RSS leader Bhaiyyaji Joshi, they said.
He has also posed as Sonia Gandhi’s political aide Madhavan, they said.
Sharma used to act as Tiwari’s assistant, they said.
“Tiwari would pose as person of great clout of a national political party (BJP or Congress) or some ministry and convince the victim he could arrange their ascendance in the party ranks or get their files or proposals cleared,” said the police.
He said the claims are being verified.
During interrogation, it was found that Tiwari, who was arrested by Crime Branch last October in a similar case, is the mastermind of a racket, the JCP said.
“He would make intensive research about his targets, who had high aspirations and then lure them with temptations of giving tickets, greater role in party or other favours,” he said.
Police also claimed he would usually pose as someone who is related to the ruling party.
Crime Branch received a complaint on January 24 from Sushant Kumar Mukherjee, PS to Amar Kumar Bauri, minister for Revenue, Registration & Land, Jharkhand.
Bauri alleged that a man was calling him for the last three days posing as Ram Madhav and asking him to contribute funds for upcoming elections, said Yadav.
On January 23, the caller sent a person on his behalf to the Jharkhand Bhawan, who met Bauri and demanded the money.
“On verification from the office of Ram Madhav, it was ascertained that no such communication was ever made and it was clear that there are some people who are trying to cheat the minister,” he added.
Tiwari, who is from Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh, is accused in 10 such cases and this is his 11th involvement.