Ex-BBC journo Vinod Verma says he's being framed because he has Chhattisgarh minister's sex CD
Former BBC journalist Vinod Verma said he was being framed for allegedly blackmailing and extorting money from a Chhattisgarh PWD minister Rajesh Kumar.
Following his arrest by Chhattisgarh Police on Monday morning, former BBC journalist Vinod Verma said he was being framed for allegedly blackmailing and extorting money from a Chhattisgarh PWD minister Rajesh Kumar.
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 27, 2017
I have a sex CD of a Chhattisgarh Minister, he is Rajesh Munat & that is why Chhattisgarh Govt is not happy with me: #VinodVerma
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 27, 2017
On his way to the Ghaziabad district court, Verma told reporters he had a sex tape of the minister on a CD. "The government of Chhattisgarh is not happy with me. I just have a pen drive and have nothing to do with a CD," he said.
According to media reports, the police recovered 500 CDs of the sex tape from the veteran journalist's Indirapuram house in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. He has been booked under Section 384 (extortion) and Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal code (IPC). The has been registered at Pandri police station in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh.
Speaking to the media, Raipur Inspector-General (IG) Pradeep Kumar said: "The investigation is underway. We can't reveal the details but contents of the CD violate Section 67 of IT Act."
"A huge quantity of CDs has been seized from the journalist's house. We are scrutinising the material to check whether there is any link to sex scandal involving higher-ups," Senior Superintendent of Police HN Singh said. The police recovered 500 CDs of the sex tape, a laptop and pendrive from Verma's residence. It's unclear if the CDs were planted or Verma had indeed created copies.
Verma is an executive member of the Editors Guild of India and has worked in media houses such as BBC and Amar Ujala, according to ABP Live.
His arrest came after a Chhattisgarh BJP IT-Cell member Prakash Bajaj filed a complaint with the police on Thursday that "someone had a CD of his boss (the minister)", reported NDTV. Following this, a six-member police team from Raipur flew to Delhi and met the owner of the shop that allegedly made the copies of the CD. The owner allegedly named Verma as the person who asked for the CD copies. Verma was later at 3.30 am on Friday morning.
Reacting to Verma's arrest, Chhattisgarh Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel said he also had a copy of the sex tape but that didn't make him an accused. "I have a copy of the CD. Will I become an accused? The government has taken an extra-ordinary interest in arresting the senior journalist within hours after the complaint was lodged. Why it is not showing similar interest in arresting in other matters?" he questioned as per a Times of India report.
"The police knows everything. Yet they have kept quiet. But they wasted no time to detain and arrest a member of the Editors Guild of India," said Baghel.
As the news of the arrest of the former BBC and Amar Ujala journalist spread, many senior journalists from electronic and print media gathered outside the police station in Ghaziabad.
AAP leader and former journalist Ashutosh termed the development an "attack on the press". In a tweet to the Uttar Pradesh Police, the journalist-turned-politician said Verma was arrested in a "mysterious" way and the move amounted to attack on press freedom.
With inputs from PTI
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