Berhampur (Odisha), April 21: An undertrial prisoner, lodged in Bhanjanagar sub-jail in Ganjam district, was allegedly running an extortion racket from the prison.
The incident came to the fore when police yesterday arrested four teenagers, who had allegedly collected Rs 2,000 from a shopowner at Kullad under Bhanjanagar police limits.
"The children aged between 16 and 17 years belong to Bhanjanagar. On Monday, they collected Rs 2,000 from Santosh Patra on the direction of the undertrial prisoner, Siba Jena. They had earlier collected Rs 1,500 from another person," said Inspector In-Charge of Bhanjanagar police station A K Sahu.
The teenage boys were sent to an observation home here after being produced before the Juvenile Justice Board, he said. "The boys had appeared the Class X exam this year and were working for Jena outside the jail. Five mobile phones, a motorcycle and Rs 2,000 were seized from them," Sahu said, adding, "A mobile phone was recovered from Jena."
Police said the showowner had lodged a complaint alleging that he had got a call demanding Rs 5,000 ransom.
He was asked to hand over the money to the boys and warned of dire consequences. Patra gave the boys Rs 2,000 and assured them that he would pay the rest later.
The call was traced to the jail and a cellphone was seized from Jena. "Jena is in jail for last one year for 11 cases of dacoity and robbery. One more case has been registered against him," the IIC added.