“I Am Being Framed", Alleges Arrested Senior Journalist Vinod Verma

| October 27 , 2017 , 18:53 IST

Chhattisgarh Police arrested former BBC Journalist Vinod Verma from his Ghaziabad residence in the wee hours of Friday over charges of blackmail and extortion.

"The government of Chhattisgarh is not happy with me. Clearly, I am being framed," Verma said. Verma alleged that he is being targeted because he possesses a sex CD featuring a Chhattisgarh minister.

"I have a sex CD of a Chhattisgarh Minister, he is Rajesh Munat and that is why the Chhattisgarh government is not happy with me," Mr Verma told reporters while being taken to court after hours of questioning.

The minister has termed the CD to be "fake" and said it can be investigated by any agency.

Senior journalist Verma’s arrest followed a complaint on Thursday by Prakash Bajaj, a member of the Chhattisgarh BJP's IT cell, that "someone had a CD of his boss (the minister)".

The police claim they have seized hundreds of CDs, a laptop and a pen drive from Mr Verma's home. They say he "intended" to distribute objectionable CDs, refusing to disclose the contents to the media.

Late on Thursday night, the police took a flight to Delhi and went to a shop that had allegedly made 1,000 copies of the sex tape. The shop owner allegedly named Mr Verma as the man who had commissioned the copies.

Meanwhile, Chattisgarh government has claimed that Verma was with Congress, planning to defame BJP.

Chhattisgarh Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel came to the aid of Verma and said that the BJP is trying to protect its minister and is trying to frame an innocent journalist.

"We condemn the arrest of Verma. I also got the CD on the basis of which the arrest has been made. If that is the basis of (police) action, then it is highly condemnable. (It is) an attack on the fourth estate of democracy. The speed at which action has been taken by the government proves that the person in the video is indeed a minister. To save their minister, they are attacking a journalist,” Baghel told media.