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Bengaluru cops probe AoL extortion call case

By Vicky Nanjappa
July 02, 2010 13:52 IST
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The Bengaluru police are investigating the alleged threat call made to spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar's Art of Living organisation three days ago.

Recently, the AoL lodged a complaint alleging that someone had demanded Rs 42 crore from the organisation and threatened to tarnish its reputation if it failed to pay the amount.

A day later, non-resident Indian Paul P alleged that AoL grabbed 15 acres of land on Kanakapura Road near Bengaluru where the AoL ashram is situated. Paul claimed he approached an intermediary, Agni Shridhar, after talks with AoL failed.
Paul said he bought the plot 12 years ago from a farmer named Mohan. However, Mohan's son Vijay refused to execute the sale deed.

"Even as I approached the court, Vijay handed the land over to AoL. When I met (AoL founder Sri Sri) Ravishankar two years ago, he promised to settle the issue, but now they are threatening me and asking me to forget about the land," Paul claimed.

Agni Shridhar, who was asked to mediate in the matter, said, "Ravishankar told me he was promoting Hinduism, and I should support him. Today they have cooked up a case of extortion against me."

The police are currently investigating the extortion call and seeking more information from the ashram, said Inspector General of Police Kamal Pant.

"We will examine the voice samples of the caller. We need to find out the content of the conversation so that we can proceed further with the case. Since this case is sensitive in nature, we want to get the facts right before we even present our case before the court," said an official of the Bengaluru rural police.

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Vicky Nanjappa