Chief of regional TV channel arrested for blackmail, extortion

Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths on Sunday arrested the managing director of a Kannada news channel on charges of blackmailing and extorting a senior BJP leader.

Published: 06th May 2019 06:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th May 2019 06:29 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths on Sunday arrested the managing director of a Kannada news channel on charges of blackmailing and extorting a senior BJP leader. The accused is Hemanth Kammar, a resident of Sanjaynagar, and managing director of Focus TV.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, CCB, S Girish said that Girish Bharadwaj, a friend of former minister Aravind Limbavali, had filed a case with Whitefield police on Thursday. “Bharadwaj alleged that Hemanth was repeatedly calling him over WhatsApp and threatening him that he had an audio and video of the BJP leader’s “private moments” and demanded Rs 50 lakh for not telecasting them on his TV channel.

Hemanth also claimed that officials from the Chief Minister’s office were asking for the CD and that he would give it to them if the minister failed to pay up,” the DCP added.Since it was a serious case the case was transferred to CCB. Based on a tip-off, Hemanth was arrested at Chalukya Hotel and was taken into police custody for interrogation.

“We have seized a laptop and a phone as part of the investigations. He was produced before the magistrate to take into police custody. If anyone has been a victim of extortion by Hemanth, they can approach the CCB police to file a case. Further interrogation is on,” the officer added.

When The New Indian Express contacted Limbavali to get his comments on the case, he just said: “No one called me directly to blackmail me. I came to know through Bharadwaj that he tried to tarnish my image.”

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