Sr Journalist, Vinod Verma(formerly with BBC) was picked up last night at 3AM by UP and Chattisgarh Police. Emergency days are here!
'Am Being Framed As I Have Sex CD Of Minister,' Says Arrested Journalist Vinod Verma
Vinod Verma's colleagues say he was part of a fact-finding team of the Editors Guild looking into the intimidation of journalists in Chhattisgarh.
Reported by Anurag Dwary
GHAZIABAD: A senior journalist was arrested around 4 am today from his home near Delhi by the Chhattisgarh police on charges of extortion. Vinod Verma, a member of the Editors Guild of India, alleges that he is being targeted because he has a sex CD featuring a minister.
Mr Verma was arrested at his Ghaziabad home by a police team that caught the last flight out of Raipur to investigate the sex CD and allegations of blackmail.
The police claim they have seized hundreds of CDs, a laptop and a pen drive from Mr Verma's home. They say he "intended" to distribute objectionable CDs, refusing to disclose the contents to the media.
"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," Mr Verma told reporters while being taken to court after hours of questioning. The minister has called the CD "fake" and said it can be investigated by any agency.
A freelance journalist, Mr Verma has been Digital Editor at Amar Ujala and has also worked with the BBC Hindi service.
He was part of a fact-finding team of the Editors Guild that travelled to Chhattisgarh last year to examine cases of intimidation of journalists.
His arrest followed a complaint yesterday by Prakash Bajaj, a member of the Chhattisgarh BJP's IT cell, that "someone had a CD of his boss (the minister)".
Late last night, the police took a flight to Delhi and went to a shop that had allegedly made 1,000 copies of the sex tape. The shop owner allegedly named Mr Verma as the man who had commissioned the copies.
The Chhattisgarh government claims Mr Verma was working with the opposition Congress to discredit the BJP government. The journalist, it says, is related to state Congress chief Bhupesh Vaghel. Mr Vaghel has denied it.
"This is an attack on democracy and we condemn this. They are targeting a journalist to protect their minister,"Mr Vaghel said.
The pre-dawn arrest has triggered outrage, with a deluge of posts on social media.
Mumbai Press Club
Article posted on 27/10/2017