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After ex-BBC journo, Chhattisgarh Congress chief booked over alleged sex clip

Various sections of IT Act were slapped on Bhupesh Baghel and former BBC journalist Vinod Verma following a fresh complaint lodged against them by Chhattisgarh PWD minister Rajesh Munat

india Updated: Oct 28, 2017 23:00 IST
Ritesh Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
Vinod Verma,BJP,BBC
Journalist Vinod Verma was arrested and produced before a Ghaziabad court on Friday in a case over alleged extortion attempt on the basis of a sex CD purportedly involving Chhattisgarh PWD minister (HT Photo )

Chhattisgarh police on Friday evening booked state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel in a case over alleged extortion attempt on the basis of a sex clip purportedly involving a minister by senior journalist Vinod Verma, who was arrested earlier in the day.

Various sections of IT Act were slapped on Baghel and Verma following a fresh complaint lodged against them by Chhattisgarh PWD minister Rajesh Munat, who accused the duo of trying to malign his image with the “fake” sex CD.

The minister in a press conference said that he is ready for any probe.

Chhattisgarah BJP earlier alleged that the state Congress chief was part of the “conspiracy” involving the “fake CD”.

Verma, who was allegedly in possession of a CD showing the minister in a compromising position with a woman, was arrested from his residence in Indirapuram in Ghaziabad. He was also booked under sections 384 and 506 of the Indian penal code (IPC) for extortion and intimidation.

On Friday, a group of Chhattisgarh minister along with party workers reached Civil Lines police station of Raipur and submitted a written complaint against the duo.

“A case has been registered under various sections of IT act against Vinod Verma and Bhupesh Baghel following the complaint,” ASP Raipur Vijay Agarwal said.

Verma who was arrested barely 12 hours after a complaint was lodged at the Pandari police station in Chhatisgarh’s Raipur district by the BJP’s state working committee member Prakash Bajaj, said he was framed and denied possessing any sex CD.

“Someone gave me a 1 minute 31 seconds clip on a pen drive on October 24 and as a back-up I saved it on my laptop…. The police have planted the CD on me. It is a political conspiracy of framing me in a false case and arresting me since I am looking after the social media campaign of Congress Party in Chhattisgarh,” Verma told HT.

Bajaj in his complaint claimed that someone called his landline number and threatened him to release a pornographic CD of the minister.

The call was traced to the shop in Delhi which was raided. Verma is said to have ordered the reprints of the CD.

Baghel could not be reached for his comment on charges slapped against him. Congress spokesperson RP Singh said the state Congress chief will hold a press conference on Saturday afternoon over the issue.

Meanwhile, Vinod Verma has been brought to Raipur on transit remand. He will be interrogated later in the evening.

Verma, a member of the Editors’ Guild of India, formerly worked for BBC and Amar Ujala. Verma along with two other journalists were also members of a fact finding committee to assess the arrests of journalists in Chhattisgarh and challenges faced by them in the state.

First Published: Oct 28, 2017 12:55 IST