Vijayawada

Three scribes among four held for extortion

At least four persons, including three vernacular media reporters, were arrested by Challapalli police for allegedly extorting money from an elderly farmer by threatening to post his intimate videos on social networking sites. The incident came to light on Sunday.

The accused have been identified as Machilipatnam-based reporters Motapalli Venkateswara Rao and Konakalla Giri and Vijayawada-based Chief of Bureau of a news channel Edukondalu, and a local person from Kaza village in Ghantasala mandal.

On August 21, the group of reporters with the help of a local person allegedly hatched a plan to extort money from an elderly person, Veera Simham, 60. Mr. Simham, a farmer of Mangalapuram village in Challapalli mandal of Krishna district, lives alone.

On August 21, the group of reporters allegedly sent the local person to Mr. Simham, directing him to pose for the camera in an intimate position to portray that the victim was a transgender.

“The the two reporters, Venkateswara Rao and Giri, recorded the video of the elderly man with another man in an intimate position in his house. They later threatened him that they would telecast the videos if he failed to give them ₹3 lakh,” Challapalli Sub Inspector D. Srinivasa Rao said.

“On August 21, the reporters took a watch and gold chain from Mr. Simham and set a deadline of August 25 to arrange ₹3 lakh in cash to stop airing the videos in their media and posting them online,” added Mr. Srinivasa Rao.

The elderly man lodged a complaint with the Challapalli police, who joined the victim to nab the reporters.

On Saturday, the victim telephoned the reporters and asked them to visit him to collect the money. “The two reporters who came to collect the money were arrested on the spot while the other two accused, including Vijayawada based journalist, were arrested in the evening. Cases have been registered under the Information Technology Act and robbery charges”, said Mr. Srinivasa Rao.

The accused were produced before the local court in Machilipatnam and remanded in judicial custody.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 11:50:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/three-scribes-among-four-held-for-extortion/article24787548.ece

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