Pay or clean toilets: Techie in extortion cell

Pay or clean toilets: Techie in extortion cell

Several cases of extortion have been reported from the Parappana Agrahara Central Prisons.

As if jail wasn’t enough, a software engineer — remanded in judicial custody for abetting his wife’s suicide — was made to part with over Rs 50,000 during his brief stint with some ‘enterprising’ inmates.

Pay or clean the toilets in prison. Or even better, give the undertrials a massage. Choices were few for 32-year-old Santosh Kumar (name changed), a resident of north Bengaluru, who entered the barracks of Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in July. 

Newcomers, who are not hardened criminals, are a soft target for inmates who run extortion rackets in the cells. Santosh, who is still in custody, was approached by a group who assigned him menial tasks. He was even denied a place to sleep.

The abuse continued for a few days till the gang itself suggested a way out. They said they will stop harassing him if he deposits money to certain bank accounts through his family. Santosh agreed and as instructed, began transferring Rs 5,000-Rs 6,000 every week to various accounts through his relatives who used to visit him in prison.

DH has copies of bank challans with the account numbers and online transaction details of the money deposited by the victim’s family. Money was transferred to the accounts of ‘Jayanna’, SBI Bank, Hosadurga Branch; ‘Jyothi S’, ICICI Bank; ‘Kavitha R’, SBI Bank; and others. His family has deposited more than Rs 50,000 until now.

Though prisoners are shifted to other barracks every 15 days or a month, they can’t escape extortionists, said K B K Swamy, a victim’s advocate.

V Sheshmurthy, Chief Superintendent, Parappana Agrahara, told DH they were not aware of the techie’s incident. “If he meets us and gives details about the inmates who extorted money, we will take steps to refund his money,” he said.

Rs 5L ring from prison

In another case, Muniraju M (42), a resident of Jayanagar, complained to Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai that he received extortion calls from a prison inmate, Ayyappa Nakalu Bande, after he decided to sell his ancestral property a fortnight ago. Ayyappa demanded Rs 5 lakh and threatened to kill Muniraju if he didn't pay.

After instructions from Bommai and obtaining sanction from the court, Siddapura police registered an FIR against the accused on Wednesday.

V Sheshmurthy, Chief Superintendent, Parappana Agrahara, said there was a previous complaint against Ayyappa and that he will look into the case. "The prison has only 2G/3G jammers and cannot block 4G calls. The jammers will be upgraded," he said.

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