Bhubaneswar: A three member-gang extorting money from a local businessman by posing as Maoists has been busted in Odisha’s Rayagada district, police said Monday.

P.K.Bhupati, inspector in charge of Rayagada police station, said the accused, aged between 25 and 30, were threatening local businessmen over phone and were extorting money.

He said the matter came to light after a businessman told police that the gang asked him to supply hand grenades and explosives or pay about Rs.1.5 lakh, he said.

All the three accused were arrested and produced before a local court from where they were remanded to judicial custody, he added.

Maoists are active in more than half of Odisha. Rayagada, about 400 km from Bhubaneswar, is considered their strong hold. (IANS)