Ex-journalist booked for extorting Rs 25L from doc

Kiran Shanbhag

A former television journalist has been booked for blackmailing and extorting Rs 25 lakh from a doctor who runs an ayurvedic medical college and hospital in Nelamangala on the northern outskirts of Bengaluru. 

The Nelamangala police opened a case against Kiran Shanbhag, who earlier worked for a leading Kannada news channel, following a complaint from Dr A V Srinivasan, the managing trustee of Sri Paripoorna Sanathana Charitable Trust. The organisation runs Sri Paripoorna Sanathana Ayurveda Medical College, Hospital and Research Centre at Arjunabettahalli, Nelamangala. Dr Srinivasan said he had built the hospital through donations from India and abroad. 

Police said Shanbhag first met Dr Srinivasan last November when the latter was busy with the inauguration of the hospital. He told the doctor that he had some objectionable content about him and threatened to broadcast it on the news channel a day before the hospital's inauguration if he did not pay him Rs 25 lakh. Fearing damage to his reputation, Dr Srinivasan arranged for the money and gave it to Shanbhag. 

Shanbhag, however, contacted Dr Srinivasan a few days ago and demanded a "donation" for the medical treatment of the members of the press club. 

Rattled by the demand, Dr Srinivasan approached the Nelamangala Rural police and filed a complaint on April 22, 2019. Police are yet to arrest Shanbhag.

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