Man booked for extorting money from rape accused

The Delhi police have registered a case of extortion and criminal conspiracy against a man for allegedly luring and extorting money from an astrologer booked under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act and for gang rape in 2018.

The case pertains to Asif Khan alias Ashu Bhai Guruji, an astrologer in Hauz Khas. Khan, his son Samar Khan, his friend and manager were arrested under Section 376D of the Indian Penal Code for gang rape and sections of the POCSO Act.

Khan alleged in his plea, through advocate Vikas Arora, that a man named Ram Naresh Sharma approached him after the case was lodged and demanded ₹12 crore to get him out of the case. Meanwhile, all the accused were arrested in the case, which was transferred to the Delhi Police Crime Branch, and sent to judicial custody.

In 2019, one of Khan’s employees Shiv Kumar filed a complaint regarding the extortion calls but no case was registered.

As per police, Khan and Kumar said the victim in their case and Sharma were part of an organised extortion racket. The victim had lodged another gang rape FIR at Mandawali police station involving another group of persons with the same modus operandi and submitted the same number used by Sharma to call them, they said.

Taking note of the allegations made in his petition, Metropolitan Magistrate Tanya Bamniyal noted that the perusal of the complaint, allegations and documents annexed therewith prima facie discloses the commission of offence of extortion. The court also stated that police investigation is required to find out whether the allegations against Sharma in the complaint have any force or not.

“The investigation of the case is at preliminary stages and we are trying to probe all angles of the case,” a senior police officer said.

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