3, including scribe, plant plaint, try to extort businessman in Mumbai

Mumbai: Goregaon Police have arrested two men, including a journalist, in an extortion bid. The accused uploaded a tweet and tagged a Twitter handle, complaining about an illegal tree felling incident. The accused then resorted to extortion to delete the tweet and to not approach the authorities, which will hold them accountable for a criminal case.

Police said that the complainant, who is a local businessman at Goregaon, learnt about the tweet on a tree that was cut near his residence in Motilal Nagar. Soon after that, one of the complainant's friends received a phone call from the accused that they are the ones who had tweeted the content and they can delete the tweet if the complainant decides to pay up. Moreover, the caller also threatened to leak the matter to the press as the other accused is a 'journalist'.

The accused arranged a meeting with the complainant and his friend and told them to pay Rs 50,000. The businessman panicked and agreed to settle at Rs 15,000, but the accused demanded Rs 30,000. The businessman paid the first instalment of Rs 15,000. The accused kept calling and harassing the businessman, after which he approached Goregaon Police and lodged a complaint.

A trap was laid and the accused were caught accepting the extortion money of Rs 5,000. The arrested accused have been identified as Rakesh Kashyap, who claimed to be a journalist and his accomplice Lalesh Bhagat. The duo was booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for extortion and investigation is underway to ascertain how many more victims had fallen prey to the extortion.

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Free Press Journal