The Seshadripuram police finally got into the act and arrested three men on the charge of robbing a security guard from Tripura working with a private firm here even as the northeast Indians alleged delay in police action.

Farman Ali, the security guard, and his friends said they were regularly harassed and intimidated by Karan, Santosh and Manjunath for money.

“They used to harass us, demanding money every time we went out to buy groceries,” Mr. Ali said. He and his friends said despite complaining to the local police, no action was taken.

On Wednesday night, the gang reportedly barged into their house, beat them up and snatched a mobile phone and Rs.1,500 after threatening them.

The victims informed their friends, who in turn called a non-governmental organisation, which has been liaising with the police and northeast Indians ever since the recent exodus. The activists took the victims to the police station and filed a complaint after which the extortionists were arrested and remanded in judicial custody.

Protection money

The northeast Indians told the media they were forced to cough up Rs. 50 every month as protection money to the gang. In fact, several of their colleagues fled the area, unable to bear the gang’s harassment. On Wednesday night, they waited in front of the Seshadripuram police station for over two hours to file a complaint. Finally, they contacted the media through the helpline set up to assist them.

Double quick

“Only after the media started interacting with us did the police file the case. The inspector arrived at the station, and three of the four accused were detained within 30 minutes,” a helpline volunteer told The Hindu, adding that even as the complaint was being registered, the driver of a police vehicle was trying to intimidate them into leaving.

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