Gang of four held for robbing gay men in Lucknow

Lucknow, Dec 6 (IANS): The Lucknow police have busted a gang robbing gay men in the state capital on the pretext of giving them sexual pleasures or body massages.

Four men, all from Bihar, have been arrested.

The arrested have been identified as Roshan Pathak(28), Shubham Raj (25), Mohd Firdaus(30) and Mohd Faizal (28), all from Patna, who were living in a rented accommodation here, said police.

The gang came under police radar after a victim, who is a gay and a resident of Indira Nagar, registered a complaint at Vibhuti Khand police station about some men thrashing him and looting Rs 80,000 and his phone in a hotel in Vibhuti Khand.

An FIR was registered under Indian Penal Code sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 384 (extortion).

However, after the arrest of the four, sections 392 (robbery) and 411 (dishonesty) were added.

Syed Ali Abbas, Additional Deputy Commissioner of police (ADCP), Lucknow East, said, "The incident took place on November 29 when the victim made a plan to meet four people in a hotel after talking to one of them through a gay dating app."

"The victim told the police that when he reached the hotel room, the four men in the room started asking for money, threatening that they would expose his sexual orientation in public. When he refused to give money, they thrashed him and forcefully made him transfer money from his bank account. They started asking for more money but when he refused, they took his mobile phone and fled the scene," the ADCP added.

According to police, the men would commit these crimes through the internet and target different people in the city on the dating app.

"During interrogation, they also revealed that they would woo homosexuals by offering them body massage," said Anil Kumar, SHO, Vibhuti Khand.

"Their names are also registered in another robbery case with Naka police," he added.

As per the FIR registered with Naka police in May, the accused Shubham Raj had targetted a man working as a coordinator for IGNOU at JNPG college by calling him in a hotel room in Charbagh.

When he reached there, he found the other three men who threatened him and took his ATM card and credit card and their pins.

"The men withdrew Rs 38,000 from the ATM and brought gold jewellery worth 4,58,150 using credit card. They threatened to kill me if I opened my mouth," the victim had said in his FIR.

The case was registered under IPC sections 392, 411 and 506.



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