UP-based extortion gang busted

With the arrest of an alleged extortionist named Sanjeev Maheshwari, better known as the Moniker Jeeva in the crime world, and his associate Sunil Awasthi, Delhi Police claimed to have busted an organised extortion gang operating from Uttar Pradesh, police said on Saturday.

Jeeva is said to be a close associate of gangster-turned-politicians Mukhtyar Ansari and Munna Bajrangi. Jeeva is also an accused in the murder if two former BJP legislators, Krishna Anand Rai and Brahmadutt Dwiwedi. A case was registered against Jeeva at the Vivek Vihar police station in east Delhi when he allegedly threatened a Delhi-based builder to transfer two apartments in a residential project taken up by the builder at a posh locality in Dehradun. Jeeva allegedly wanted the property transferred in the name of persons he had ‘nominated’, said Ajay Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East).

Jeeva was already lodged at the Barbanki Jail for past nine years and was allegedly threatening the builder from inside he jail premises over phone. With further technical surveillance, it was found that one Sunil Awasthi was also involved in the case. He was being guided by Jeeva fron within the jail premises. Later, it emerged that Awasthi was also named in two extortion cases along with Jeeva in 2009 and 2011. Succumbing to police pressure, he had once surrendered before the Barbanki court and later arrested.

According to the police, Jeeva’s associates procured SIM cards on fake name and address, and also assembled cheap mobile phones for making extortion calls. They also claimed that they never used the same number in two different cases. During interrogation, Jeeva revealed that several industrialists, builders and businessmen from Haridwar, Roorkee and Lucknow have been there in their list of targets for years. However, none of them dared to report the matter to the police.

The 41-year-old extortionist, Jeeva, used to be a laboratory technician at a Nursing Home in Muzaffarnagar. In 1995, he was arrested for the first time in connection with a land dispute and a series of robbery cases. 
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