Crime branch to take over Mulund extortion bid probe

The crime branch of the Mumbai Police will probe attempted extortion at a Mulund spa last week by four constables, the police said on Monday. The accused Hanumant Kawale (37), Shekhar Shinde (30), Madhukar Killare (35) and Dashrath Jhankar (32) had been initially suspended and the probe handed over to Mulund Division Assistant Commissioner of Police N S Madne.

"The probe will be taken over by the Crime Branch. The identification parade of Killare and Jhankar is yet to be conducted but the rest of the investigation will be handled by them," Madne said. Kawale and Shinde were identified by the spa's proprietor on Thursday night.

The policemen had targeted Rudrakshni Spa in Mulund West, extorting money from the establishment under the pretext of a raid. All four monitored the police's wireless communications and planned the extortion while they were off-duty and on days when their supervising officer was on leave.

On December 22, they had allegedly barged into the spa and roughed up the staff and customers and walked away with Rs. 10,000. Days later, on January 4, Kawale and Shinde again went to the establishment and extorted Rs 4,000.

However, alert staffers nabbed them and handed them over to the police.

While Kawale and Shinde were remanded in police custody, the other two were remanded in judicial custody pending identification.

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