Sting goes awry, two TV9 scribes held for 'bribing' DKS

Sting goes awry, two TV9 scribes held for 'bribing' DKS

The Sadashivanagar police on Monday arrested two journalists from a Kannada television news channel for allegedly trying to bribe Energy Minister D K Shivakumar as part of a sting operation at his residence.

“We booked Shreyas, a reporter with TV9, and Shwetha, an associate programme producer, under Sections 9 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and are interrogating them,” a senior police officer told Deccan Herald.

The police are on the lookout for Mahendra Mishra, Director of TV9 (Kannada) and News9 (English), as he had allegedly directed the journalists to offer bribe to the minister. Mishra is at large, said the officer.

The police said they decided to include Mishra’s name in the case as the journalists stated that they tried to bribe Shivakumar at the behest of Mishra.

According to the police, Mishra planned a sting operation of Shivakumar accepting money for an ‘illegal’ project. The move was aimed at a better Television Rating Point (TRP) during the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. Shreyas and Shwetha were assigned the task, said the police.

The two journalists established contact with the minister a week ago. They were in constant touch with him and convinced him that they were working for a solar power project to be taken up by a London-based firm, EnerGo Power. Shivakumar gave them an appointment to meet him at his residence on Sunday. When they sought his help, Shivakumar expressed his helplessness citing the model code of conduct. However, he directed them to meet his officers who would look into the matter.

The duo contacted the minister again on Monday. During the conversation, they allegedly offered him some gifts. Suddenly, Shreyas offered him Rs five lakh in cash and asked him to accept the money. The minister grew suspicious and called up the police who rushed to his house. They found hidden cameras on frisking the two journalists and arrested them, said the police.

It is said the duo had almost completed the sting operation. They had convinced the minister that the deal would benefit him personally and he would receive huge financial benefits. The minister had reportedly agreed to help them. He allegedly accepted the gifts and the money and grew suspicious as the journalists failed to communicate between themselves properly. The minister and his aides allegedly thrashed Shreyas, sources added.

The channel claimed that it had planned to expose corruption in the Energy department.

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