Senior Journalist Vinod Verma arrested for extortion charges
28 October, 2017, 01:19 | Author: Diane Mills
Sources in the police said little is known about Bajaj; nor was much information available about the conversations he allegedly he had with an unknown caller - from a landline - threatening him with a purported sex tape involving his mentor, a senior minister in the BJP government of Chhattisgarh.
"I have a sex CD of a Chhattisgarh Minister, he is Rajesh Munat and that is why the Chhattisgarh government is not happy with me", Verma told reporters while being taken to court after hours of questioning.
If a member of the Editors Guild of India was being arrested in this manner "for investigating serious allegations against a minister", how would the junior-level journalists work without fear, he asked. According to the Raipur Police, Verma was arrested following a complaint lodged by Chhattisgarh BJP leader Prakash Bajaj on October 26. He was part of a fact-finding team of the Editors Guild that travelled to Chhattisgarh a year ago to examine cases of intimidation of journalists. "Clearly, I am being framed", Verma said. Chhattisgarh government has reportedly, claimed that Verma was working with Congress to malign BJP's image.
Accusing the BJP of name-calling, Maken said: "Sometimes a senior minister calls the journalists presstitutes, the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) calls the media "bazaru". The committee had given its reports after investigation and its report said that the journalists were working under huge pressure in the state and a sense of fear prevailed among them. He will be presented before a Chhattisgarh court by police. The shop owner allegedly named Mr Verma as the man who had commissioned the copies.
He further said that he had taken a look at the CD and if that was the basis of Verma's arrest then it was condemnable, to say the least. Investigators later recovered around 500 CDs and a pen drive from Verma, and arrested him.
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