Samachar Plus CEO, who led sting operation against politicians, arrested
The Editor-in-Chief and CEO of Uttarakhand-based channel Samachar Plus was arrested from his Ghaziabad residence yesterday for allegedly putting pressure on one of his employees to do a sting operation on prominent politicians with an intent to blackmail them. Umesh Kumar Sharma was arrested after raids were conducted at his office in Noida and residence in Ghaziabad, ADG (law and order) Ashok Kumar said.
The channel, which also operates in Uttar Pradesh, did a sting operation in 2016 of the then Chief Minister Harish Rawat purportedly showing him negotiating a bribe deal with disgruntled MLAs and buy their support ahead of a floor test in the State Assembly.
An FIR was lodged against Sharma and four others by a Samachar Plus journalist, Ayush Gaud, accusing him of doing sting operations on senior politicians for extorting money from them. Sharma has been charged under IPC Sections 386 (extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt), 388 (extortion by threat of accusation of an offense) and 120 b (criminal conspiracy).
Valuables received from Sharma's office and residence includes Rs. 39.73 lakh in cash, $16,279, 11,030 Thai Baht besides a number of mobile phones, hard disc, pen drives, memory cards, iPad, laptop, and camera. Assistant Superintendent of Police (circle officer Indirapuram) Ravi Kumar said Uttarakhand Police had sought assistance from local police and conducted raids. Sharma has been brought to Dehradun and is being interrogated.