Even before Uma Khurana's interrogation could begin on Tuesday, Crime Branch officers received a fresh piece of ‘input’ in the school sting case— footage said to be part of the original sting operation that couldn’t be aired in the news story.
The CD has footage of conversation between Live India reporter Prakash Singh and Khurana that reportedly took place the evening before Khurana is shown passing on Rashmi Singh — posing as a sex-worker, in front of East Delhi’s Cross River mall — to Prakash, police say. The conversation purportedly takes place at Khurana’s house.
The footage shows Prakash, acting as a customer, asking Khurana if she could arrange schoolgirls for him. “In the CD, Khurana replies that a few girls were present in her house in the morning but that they had already left by then,” said a Crime Branch officer.
Prakash carried out the sting while he was interning with another news channel. “Prakash couldn’t manage to procure this fresh footage from his earlier employer. The channel’s management submitted this CD only now,” said a source.
Khurana has, meanwhile, told her interrogators that in this footage she had lied to Prakash to ensure he does not get put off, since Prakash promised to help her set up an artificial jewellery business, sources say. Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said Khurana has not been found involved in organising any prostitution racket.
Here’s what Khurana told police during her four-hour interrogation at the Crime Branch’s RK Puram office on Tuesday. Businessman Virendra Arora introduced Khurana to Prakash who promised to help her set up an artificial jewellery business along with her nephew, police said.
However, to entrap Khurana in the fake sex racket, Arora told her that Prakash was fond of young girls and that she would have to provide him some schoolgirls, said an officer.
“Khurana said she never tried to procure a girl but at the same time, she never told this clearly to Prakash. She started dilly-dallying, thinking he would give-up his demand and help her in the jewellery business,” said an officer.
On Tuesday, a city court sent Prakash to two days police custody. Prakash was also brought face-to-face with Khurana but there were no major contradictions in their versions, said an officer.
Meanwhile, police have submitted its status report to the Education Department, stating Khurana has not been found involved in organising any prostitution racket.
The Education Department’s move to sack Khurana after the sting was aired on August 30 is now under the scanner, with Khurana’s bail and the channel reporter’s arrest. The department has, for now, said it will wait for the Crime Branch’s investigation report before taking further action.