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Posted at: Sep 27, 2019, 7:59 AM; last updated: Sep 27, 2019, 7:59 AM (IST)

Journalist, photographer held on extortion charge

Journalist, photographer held on extortion charge
The accused in the police custody in Karnal. Tribune photo

ibune News Service

Karnal, September 26

The police have arrested a journalist working with a Hindi daily and a photographer on the charge of blackmailing an inspector in the Excise Department, threatening to make viral an audio clip in which he is claiming that he earns Rs 2 lakh a month from different establishments.

Another journalist with a news portal is still at large in this case. They had reportedly extorted Rs 14.5 lakh from the inspector over time. The police recovered Rs 4 lakh from them. They were produced in court on Thursday and sent to four-day police remand. The police were yet to recover the remaining amount and ascertain the involvement of others.

SP Surinder Singh Bhoria, said the arrested were identified as Vineet Pandey, bureau chief of a Hindi daily, and his photographer Gurjeet Singh, while Aakarshan Uppal, running a news portal, was absconding.

In his complaint, Narinder Kumar Sharma, inspector in the Excise Department, reported that the trio had an audio clip in which he claimed to be earning at least Rs 2 lakh a month and threatened to make the audio clip viral on social media.

Earlier, Pandey and Gurjeet reportedly extorted Rs 5 lakh. Later, Uppal called him up and threatened to make the audio clip viral. “I went to Pandey and Gurjeet, who demanded Rs 13 lakh more. A settlement was made for Rs 9.5 lakh. I handed over Rs 7 lakh to Uppal at his residence and the remaining amount to others. They still made the clip viral and I was suspended,” said Sharma in his complaint to the SP.

“I have directed Civil Lines SHO Sanjeev Gaur to probe the case. We have registered a case against the trio. Efforts are being made to arrest the third accused,” said the SP.

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