Fake tape: Scribe held for ‘blackmailing’ MLA

 Mahadevapura constituency MLA Aravind Limbavali.

The Central Crime Branch sleuths have nabbed a top official of a vernacular television news channel for allegedly blackmailing Mahadevapura constituency MLA Aravind Limbavali with a fake audio tape and demanding Rs 50 lakh.

Based on a complaint filed by Girish Bharadwaj, personal assistant to Limbavali, with the Whitefield police on Thursday, the CCB took over the case and arrested him from his office in Sanjaynagar on Sunday.

The accused, Hemanth, is in CCB custody at its head office in Chamarajpet for further investigation.

In his police complaint, in May 2018, Bharadwaj said Hemanth had created a Facebook account in the name of Raghu Mourya and posted a forged audio clip of Limbavali to defame him. A case was filed with the Mahadevapura police station on May 12, 2018, under various sections of the IT Act. However, Hemanth recently approached Bharadwaj, saying members of the ruling party are asking for multiple copies of the audio clips that were in his possession. Hemanth then demanded a ransom of Rs 50 lakh in exchange for the audio clips.

The sleuths also said Hemanth had dropped names of several JD(S) leaders and anti-corruption bureau officials, saying they are also asking for copies of the audio clips, and asked Bharadwaj to arrange for the money at the earliest.

Unable to bear the harassment, Bharadwaj filed a complaint with the Whitefield police, who charged Hemanth under IPC Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty), 384 (extortion), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 204 (destruction of documents), and under various sections of the IT Act.

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