Chhattisgarh to ask for CBI probe into alleged ‘sex CD’ of minister
The “sex CD” has triggered a political slugfest after Chhattisgarh police charged state Congress Bhupesh Baghel and journalist Vinod Verma with trying to blackmail the minister.india Updated: Oct 28, 2017 23:35 IST
The Chhattisgarh government decided on Saturday to request a CBI investigation into a video CD allegedly containing the PWD minister’s sexual escapade, which he had denied.
The state cabinet decided to hand the case to the central agency after an hour-long meeting.
“Whole Congress is involved in this conspiracy and it is an attempt to create an impact on the elections scheduled in other states,” said minister Prem Prakash Pandey, announcing the cabinet’s decision.
The state wrote to the Union government about its wish for a CBI probe.
The “sex CD”, as the clip’s come to be known, triggered a political slugfest after Chhattisgarh police on Friday charged state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel and senior journalist Vinod Verma, who was arrested earlier in the day, with trying to blackmail the minister and extort money and favours from him.
Several charges were slapped on Baghel and Verma after a fresh complaint was lodged against them by PWD minister Rajesh Munat, who accused the duo of trying to tarnish his image with a “fake CD”.
For his part, Baghel said the government was trying to cover up the case.
“I demand a probe under the supervision a Supreme Court judge because the CBI has been misused by the BJP government. This is an attempt by the Chhattisgarh government to save its minister,” he said.
The ruling BJP countered that a CBI probe was necessary because criminals made what it called a fake video to malign a minister.
The state BJP unit alleged that Baghel was part of the conspiracy.
Verma, who allegedly have the CD, was arrested from his home in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad. He was booked under sections 384 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for extortion and intimidation.
The journalist was arrested barely 12 hours after a complaint was lodged at Pandari police station in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur district by the BJP’s state working committee member Prakash Bajaj.
In his complaint, Bajaj said an unidentified person called in his landline number and threatened to release a pornographic CD of the minister.
The call was traced to a shop in New Delhi, where Verma had allegedly ordered reprints of the CD.
Verma said he was framed and denied having the CD.
“Someone gave me a 1-minute-31-second clip in a pen drive on October 24 and as a backup I saved it in my laptop …. Police have planted the CD story. It is a political conspiracy to frame me in a false case since I am looking after the social media campaign of the Congress in Chhattisgarh,” he said.
Verma was brought to Raipur on a transit remand.
A member of the Editors’ Guild of India, he worked for BBC and Amar Ujala before. He is in a fact-finding committee to assess arrests of journalists in Chhattisgarh and challenges faced by them in the state.