Chhota Rajan henchman Ravi Mallesh Vora alias D K Rao was arrested from his Dharavi residence by the Mumbai police on Wednesday for allegedly extorting Rs50 lakh from an slum rehabilitation authority (SRA) consultant.

Rao was produced in court on Thursday morning and was remanded in police custody till October 18. Mumbai crime branch officers said Rao, who has been in and out of jail the past few years, allegedly made extortion calls through his gang members to the consultant.

According to the police, there is an SRA project at Antop Hill with around 1,000 tenants. The consultant was approached by a developer to get the project cleared in 2013. All the legal formalities were completed and the slum got approved under the SRA scheme, said an official. But then Rao’s men approached the consultant to stop the project and told him any further work will be carried out only after the gangster’s permission.

“After coming out from jail in July 2016, Rao allegedly threatened the consultant and demanded a ransom of Rs50 lakh from him and also asked to him leave the project,” said deputy commissioner of police Dilip Sawant. Initially, the consultant avoided paying the money, but this year, in June, Rao called him to Dharavi and threatened him, said Sawant.

The consultant then approached the police and a case was registered at Dharavi police station under section 387 (putting a person in fear of death or of grievous hurt, in order to commit extortion), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (2) Punishment for criminal intimidation and 34 (Common intention) of the Indian penal code (IPC) against Rao. “We verified the fact and after investigation Rao was picked from his residence on Wednesday by CIU (criminal intelligence operation unit of the crime branch) and was arrested for extortion,” said Sawant.

According to the preliminary investigation, it appears that more people are involved along with Rao, but if we find evidence against them they will be arrested, added an official. The police said it seems as though after Chhota Rajan was arrested, Rao began forming his own gang. “If people come forward to register a complaint against Rao, we will probe further”, added Sawant.

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