Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Journalist arrested, accused of blackmailing BJP leader

Ghaziabad, Oct 27 (IANS) A senior journalist, Vinod Verma, was arrested here early on Friday on charges of allegedly blackmailing a BJP leader in Chhattisgarh, police said. Verma denied the charge and said he was being framed.

The Chhattisgarh Police raided the journalist’s residence at Indirapuram along with the Uttar Pradesh Police and recovered 500 compact discs (CDs), a laptop, a pen drive and Rs 200,000 in cash, a police officer here said.

Chhattisgarh Inspector General of Police Pradip Gupta and Superintendent of Police Sanjiv Shukla said Raipur resident and BJP leader Prakash Bajaj filed a complaint alleging Verma was trying to extort money from him after claiming that he had his “sex tapes”.

Bajaj told police that he ignored the initial calls to cough up money. But on Wednesday, Verma threatened to release the “sex tapes” in Raipur and Delhi if he did not pay up.

The officers said they then directed a Chhattisgarh Police team which was in Delhi on a different issue to proceed to Ghaziabad and arrest Verma.

As he was being taken away, Verma told fellow journalists that he was innocent. “I am being framed. I have nothing to do with the CDs.”

Inspector Sushil Dubey here said the Chhattisgarh Police reached the police station “and sought our help to arrest the journalist.

“They told us that a case under sections 384 and 506 of IPC (Indian Penal Code) was registered against the journalist on the complaint of Prakash Bajaj, a BJP leader in Raipur district,” Dubey said.

“We assisted the (Chhattisgarh) Police. Our role was limited,” Dubey told IANS.

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