The Mathura police have arrested four journalists and three police officials on the charge of extorting money from a businessman by threatening to implicate him in a false case. The accused were arrested on Thursday, and produced in a court that sent them to judicial custody.
The journalists arrested were identified as Richa Sharma (50), Ajeet Kumar (27), Jitendra Sharma (29), and Bahadur (28). The police are looking for two more local journalists, and collecting the background information of the four arrested.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Dr Gaurav Grover suspended the policemen from Farah station who were arrested. They were identified as sub-inspector Digambar Singh (30), and constables Naresh Kumar (28) and Jitendra Raghav (36).
Senior sub-inspector Satyaveer Singh said businessman Mukesh Agarwal complained on Wednesday evening that his truck loaded with rice had been stopped by the four journalists on the Delhi-Agra highway. They allegedly asked the truck driver to show them the vehicle’s documents, and the rice being transported. When the driver, Amarjeet Singh, tried to question them, the accused took out a camera and started filming him. After Singh refused to show them the paper, the accused threatened to get the truck seized, and file a police complaint against him.
The four then allegedly asked the driver to call Mukesh and demand Rs 3 lakh. They warned that a failure to comply would result in police action. A few minutes later, the three police officials on two separate bikes arrived and also started threatening the driver. Amarjeet then called Mukesh, and informed him about the incident. The businessman went straight to senior police officials and filed a complaint, alleging that the accused had extorted money from him a few days earlier too.
Mathura Refinery Circle Officer (CO) Abhishek Tiwari said that on being alerted a police team went to the spot and detained all the seven accused.
The CO said the three policemen had not informed their superiors about checking the truck. The police said during interrogation it came to light that the accused had extorted money from several businessmen by stopping their trucks on the national highway, and threatening to frame them. They also allegedly used to threaten traders that they would get their goods seized.
The police claimed to have recovered identity cards of different media houses from the journalists arrested. Additional Superintendent of Police Martand Prakash Singh said a police team would contact the media organisations to verify the identity cards, and inform them of the arrests.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines