Jharkhand lawmaker accused of freeing extortionist from cops

Ranchi, May 13 (IANS) A Jharkhand legislator is accused of setting a criminal free from their custody, police said Monday.

Dhullu Mahto, a Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) legislator from Baghmara constituency of Dhanbad district, is accused of setting Rajesh Gupta, held on charges of extortion, free from police custody Sunday.

"Rajesh Gupta was arrested on the orders of the court Sunday from Baghmara. When police were taking him to the police station, JVM-P legislator Mahto stopped a police official and succeeded in freeing Gupta. Mahto was with 40 or 50 supporters," a police official from Dhanbad district told IANS.

The police officials said: "In the scuffle, the uniform of one policeman was torn by supporters of the legislator".

Police Sunday night launched a search for the legislator, who has been absconding ever since a complaint was lodged.

Talking to a local news channel, the legislator said: "I was in hospital. I have no connection with Rajesh Gupta. The police are trying to implicate me, as I raise my voice against them for the rising cases of coal theft."

The JVM-P legislator has been hitting headlines for the wrong reasons. He is reputed to have raised a private army called Tiger.