Staff Reporter

Extorted money by threatening to expose people's `misdeeds' on TV

Posed as reporters of a popular TV news channelOne of them was self-styled editor of a weekly

NEW DELHI: Four persons, including a self-styled editor of a weekly, have been arrested by the Crime Branch of the Delhi police for allegedly extorting money from various people by threatening to expose their "misdeeds" on a popular television news channel through sting operations.

According to the police, several complaints were received by the Anti-Extortion Cell of the Crime Branch about a group extorting money posing as "sting operators". One of the victims of their ploy was Arun Gupta, managing director of Pooja Placement Agency in Patel Nagar.

Four men had approached him in his office on March 19 and extorted Rs. 6,000 as advance. They had asked him to pay up Rs. 2 lakhs if he did not want his name to be exposed on a popular Hindi television news channel as somebody supplying minor girls for prostitution under the garb of a placement agency. Subsequently, they kept calling him up asking him to pay the remaining amount. Mr. Gupta then approached the police.

As per plan, the day of delivery of the remaining amount was fixed for Thursday near Mata Chanan Devi Hospital in Janakpuri. When the suspects came to collect the extortion amount, the waiting police team nabbed all of them. The accused have been identified as Parveen Sahni, photographer and self-styled editor of "Rashtra Ki Awaaz -- Aaj Tak", Manoj Kumar Sharma, a property dealer, Ashok Chikkara, laboratory attendant in Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences in Dwarka, and Rakesh Sharma, hosiery dealer and financier.

During interrogation, the accused allegedly confessed to having extorted money from Mr. Gupta. The police have also seized a Tata Indica car, two motorcycles, three mobile phones and an identity card of Parveen, purportedly showing him to be an employee of "Aaj Tak", and several visiting cards of various reporters and camerapersons.