Who is Raman Singh protecting in the CD case?

The alacrity with which Chhattisgarh police acted in arresting senior journalist Vinod Verma raises suspicion of a political witchhunt

Photo courtsey: Twitter
Photo courtsey: Twitter
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NH Political Bureau

If Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh’s cabinet colleague Rajesh Munat is not in the sex clip allegedly recovered from senior journalist Vinod Verma, where is the question of Verma blackmailing him? The question gained significance in view of the claim by BJP leaders that the clip is ‘fake’ and does not feature Munat even as a complaint by a member of BJP’s IT cell to the police claimed that Verma was blackmailing the minister.

Friends of the journalist who spoke to him in police custody told NH that he had never contacted the minister over phone or otherwise and hence there was no question of any attempt to blackmail him. He also told them that while he had the clip on his pen drive, he had no knowledge of CDs, which Chhattisgarh police claimed to have recovered from his house. Their apprehension is that the CDs were planted by the police.

The suspicion is strengthened by the alacrity with which Chhattisgarh Police acted on the complaint alleging blackmailing attempt and filed on Thursday, catching the last evening flight from Raipur to Delhi and within hours picking up Verma, who has worked for the BBC Hindi Service and was the Digital Editor of Amar Ujala, from his house in Indirapuram (Ghaziabad) at 3 am. His laptop, mobile phones and other material were seized.

Verma belongs to the family of Swami Atmanand, who had set up Vivekanand mutts in Bastar. A leftist by inclination, he has been helping the opposition fight the corruption and atrocities unleashed in Chhattisgarh.

Police action in this case is in sharp contrast to its refusal to act on NHRC which ordered the state government to file FIR against police atrocities.

What is even more important is that the name of Vinod Verma does not even figure in the FIR. Which means no investigation had been done and he was arrested as part of a plan directed by someone politically powerful.

It is necessary to recall that it’s the same Chhattisgarh police which has not been able to trace more than 10000 missing girls, mostly tribals who have disappeared under its watch from Chhattisgarh in the last ten years.

It is also the same Chhattisgarh police which has not been able to issue Section 91 CrPC notice to record the statement of various public servants mentioned in the documents attached to the charge sheet of the infamous PDS/NAN scam.

Chhattisgarh police and the state government had also promoted its officers in spite of complaints of women constables, supported by inter departmental inquiry report ‎about sexual harassment.

Vinod Verma’s journalistic record is impeccable and ‎he is well respected among journalists. He co-authored the Editors Guild of India report about police intimidation of journalists in Bastar.

What is certain is that the alleged CD contains explicit and incriminating content against people very powerful in the Chhattisgarh Government at whose instance the Police is acting.

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