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Senior journalist Vinod Verma was arrested early this morning from his residence here by the Chhattisgarh Police over charges of extortion, police said. Verma, who earlier worked with BBC Hindi service, was picked at 3.30 am from Mahagun Mansion Apartments, Vaibhav Khand, Indirapuram by a team of Chhattisgarh Police with the help of Ghaziabad Police, Senior Superintendent of Police H N Singh said. A case of blackmail and extortion has been registered against the scribe at Pandri police station in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh, he said. "A huge quantity of CDs have been seized from the journalist's house.
We are scrutinising the material to check whether there is any link to sex scandal involving higher- ups," Singh said. As the news of the arrest of the former BBC and Amar Ujala journalist spread, many senior journalists from electronic and print media gathered outside the police station here. AAP leader and former journalist Ashutosh termed the development an "attack on the press". In a tweet to the Uttar Pradesh Police, the journalist-turned-politician said Verma was arrested in a "mysterious" way and the move amounted to attack on press freedom. The Chhattisgarh Police will produce the scribe in a court here later in the day, the SSP added.