Vizianagaram: Influenced by the popular web series 'Mirzapur', an Indian Army jawan tried to extort a gold merchant only to land behind the bars at Parvathipuram in Vizianagaram district.
The 27-year-old jawan, Chandanapalli Rajeswara Rao, is from Bantuvanivalasa under Parvathipuram mandal in the district.
Masquerading as a Maoist commander from Jharkhand, Rao called the 55-year-old gold merchant, Indupur China Gumpaswami alias Babu, in Parvathipuram on 6 March and demanded Rs. 5 crores.
According to the police, Babu lodged a complaint with the Parvathipuram Town police stating that someone had thrown stones at his house and broken the window panes.Babu also told the cops that he had received two phone calls from a person who identified himself as a top Maoist leader of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Jharkhand and demanded Rs. 5 crores. He had also threatened Babu.The police formed a special team to identify and nab the accused. The team came to know that someone had opened fire at Babu's house with a country-made weapon and they found three used bullets at the man's house.
Babu again received a call from the unidentified man threatening him of dire consequences if he failed to pay the amount. When the victim expressed his inability to pay Rs. 5 crores, the accused asked Babu to hand over Rs. 1.5 crore. The Army jawan was arrested on Sunday when Babu went to the designated spot to hand over the cash.
The police said Rajeswara Rao of the Indian Army was visiting his hometown. Rao had incurred some losses in land deals and wanted to recover those losses. Inspired by 'Mirzapur', Rao wanted to make easy money and had procured a country-made weapon.
The police recovered the weapon, four live bullets, phones, and one two-wheeler from the accused.