Delhi: Journalist among two arrested for ‘extortion’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/delhi-journalist-among-two-arrested-for-extortion-5638968/

Delhi: Journalist among two arrested for ‘extortion’

According to an FIR registered on the basis of the hotel owner’s complaint, the woman, Neelam Singh (52) checked into the establishment on February 3 and booked a room until February 28.

Things came to a head on March 19, when the complainant and his wife asked the woman to vacate the premises once again. (Representational)

A former journalist with an English daily, who was named in a sexual harassment case last month, was arrested by Gurgaon Police on Wednesday for allegedly attempting to extort Rs 4 crore from the owner of a guesthouse in Gurgaon. A woman has also been arrested, while a third accused is on the run, said police.

According to an FIR registered on the basis of the hotel owner’s complaint, the woman, Neelam Singh (52) checked into the establishment on February 3 and booked a room until February 28. On February 23, however, she left claiming she had some work, and returned only on March 9.

In the interim, a man claiming to be her son came looking for her, but on finding her missing and being unable to reach her over the phone, approached police for help. He returned to the guesthouse on March 5 and picked up her belongings, in the presence of police personnel, the complainant, Pawan Dahiya, alleged.

“When she returned on March 9, she created a drama… since that day, she has continuously been staying at our guesthouse and not paying the bills for her room or the food. On asking for the bill, she says that you got my belongings worth Rs 20-30 lakh stolen and starts pressuring us,” alleged the complainant.

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Things came to a head on March 19, when the complainant and his wife asked the woman to vacate the premises once again. However, she allegedly called the third accused, who claimed to be a lawyer, and the two of them, along with the former journalist, Rashpal Singh (42) allegedly demanded that the complainant pay them Rs 3-4 crore to vacate the room. According to the complainant, they also allegedly threatened to file a fake rape case against him.

“Frustrated by their threats, my wife went into a room around 3.30 pm and tried to hang herself. I immediately called police, who came and broke the door,” stated the complainant. A case was registered regarding the matter under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and extortion, said police.

“The woman has been involved in a similar crime in 2017 as well, regarding which a case had been registered,” said Subhash Boken, PRO of Gurgaon Police. “Both the accused have been produced in court and remanded in judicial custody.” This is the second case to be registered against the former journalist as well, who was last month accused of sexual harassment by a reporter.