A sub-inspector (SI) and a local TV journalist in Gorakhpur were arrested on Tuesday night for allegedly extorting Rs 8 lakh from a city-based psychiatrist by threatening to arrest him in an alleged rape case.
The arrest came after the doctor met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the Gorakhnath temple on Sunday and sought his help. Sub-inspector Shiv Prakash Singh, in-charge of Transport Nagar outpost under Rajghat Police Station, and Pranav Tripathi, who claimed to be working for a local TV channel, were produced before a court and sent to jail.
Police said Singh and Tripathi had returned the entire cash to Dr Ram Sharan Srivastava (65) after they learnt that the matter was being probed.
“The SI and the TV journalist went to the psychiatrist claiming that a woman had lodged a rape complaint against him. The doctor was asked to come to the police outpost and was threatened with the arrest. The accused demanded Rs 10 lakh to hush up the matter. The doctor gave them Rs 8 lakh instead. Later, Dr Srivatava filed a police complaint and an inquiry found the extortion allegation true,” said Gorakhpur SSP Sunil Gupta.
Police found that Singh and Tripathi visited the doctor’s houses and called him several times, said Gupta. When questioned, they failed to provide a reasonable explanation for their visits and calls, said Gupta. “Based on our prima facie findings, a case of extortion was lodged against the SI, the journalist and the woman, who is yet to be traced,” said Gupta.
Dr Srivastava told The Indian Express that he first got a call from Singh on May 16. “The SI asked me to come to him because a woman had filed a rape complaint against me. According to him, the woman had sent him a letter alleging that on March 6, I took her to a secluded place and sexually assaulted her. He claimed that the investigation had now started as he was busy in election duty. When I visited the outpost, the SI and the journalist showed me a handwritten letter allegedly sent by the woman on March 7,” said Dr Srivastava.
He said, “The SI made me stay back at the outpost till late about 1-2 am on May 17 and 18. He used to grill me over rape allegation. Later, he started visiting my house with the journalist. They promised to cover up the case if I paid Rs 10 lakh to them before May 19. I negotiated it to Rs 8 lakh and handed it to the SI on May 18 night.” The next day, Dr Srivastava said he met Adityanath.
The meeting allegedly prompted police to swing into action. On Monday, the SI came to the doctor’s house and returned the entire cash, said Dr Srivastava. An FIR was registered against the SI, the journalist and the woman under IPC sections 388 (extortion by threat of accusation of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life, etc), 389 (putting person in fear of accusation of offence, in order to commit extortion), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation), 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged) at Rajghat Police Station.
The doctor told police that the Rs 8 lakh was part of an amount he had recently got after selling a piece of land. However, the Income Tax department would be informed to verify the same, the SSP said.