An alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia University, who used to work at national daily, and his gang were arrested by the police on Thursday for extortion.
According to the police, the gang leader, Simran Gupta, ran a local weekly newspaper, where he used to publish information related to illegal construction or illegal occupation of land.
“Due to his stint in the print media, he had established contacts with some MCD officials. He used to threaten people that he would publish news about illegal construction carried out by them if they did not pay him,” said SK Jain, deputy commissioner of police (northeast).
The police took action on the basis of a complaint from a northeast Delhi-based businessman.
The man, Kasim, a resident of Old Seemapuri, had told the police that a gang of men, claiming to be reporters, was blackmailing him about illegal construction carried out in his house.
He had said the men had demanded Rs 25,000 or else they would publish the report of his illegal construction and get his house demolished too.
“Though Kasim had already paid R10,000 but they were pressing him to pay more money," Jain said.
The police then raided Gupta's office and recovered a huge cache of press identity cards and press stickers. Among other items found were two handycams, a digital photo camera, mobile phones, microphones, computer and CDs.