Uttarakhand: News Channel Editor Arrested On Alleged Charges Of Extortion

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The CEO and Editor-in-Chief of a news channel in Uttarakhand was arrested from his Ghaziabad residence for allegedly putting pressure on his employee to do a sting operation on prominent politicians for extortion and blackmail purposes, reported  NDTV. On Monday, October 29, he was sent to judicial custody by a local court for 11 days.

What is the case?

The CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Samachar Plus, Umesh Kumar Sharma was arrested from his Ghaziabad residence. The raids were conducted at his office and residence by the police. The Uttarakhand police sought help from local police to conduct the raids as informed by the Assistant Superintendent of Police (circle officer Indirapuram) Ravi Kumar.

Reportedly, his channel operates in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. The channel gained popularity in 2016 when it did a sting operation of the then Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat. As per the report, in the video, the CM was seen negotiating a deal with the lawmakers to buy their support in the upcoming floor test in the state assembly.

An employee filed a complaint.

A complaint was launched against the Editor-in-chief by a journalist of Samachar Plus, Ayush Gaur. In the report, Ayush has accused Umesh of threatening to eliminate him from the channel after he failed to do a sting operation on prominent politicians and bureaucrats of the state. He allegedly was constantly pressurised to do these sting operations. In the FIR, four other along with Umesh has been accused of conducting sting operations with the intentions of blackmailing and extortion of money reported The Times of India.

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According to ADG (law and order) Ashok Kumar the case has been registered against Umesh under sections 386 (extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt), 120b (criminal conspiracy), and 388 (extortion by threat of accusation of an offence) of the Indian Penal Code. The FIR was filed against him on August 10, 2018.

As per The Indian Express, Ashok Kumar said, “Uttarakhand police arrested Sharma from Ghaziabad on allegations from his staff member that he had compelled the staff to perform sting operations for extorting money. Sharma is being brought to Dehradun.”

“He told his subordinate that by doing so everyone would be under their control and none of their work would get obstructed,” the ADG said.

In the raids, the police collected Rs. 3.973 million cash, $16,279  and 11,030 Thai Bhats along with some mobile phones, hard disc, pen drives, I-pad, laptop and camera. The Millennium Post has reported that a few years ago Umesh Sharma had allegedly bribed the members of the managing committee of Press Club of India (PCI) to gain membership.

Source: The Logical Indian

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