The CEO of Janasri, a Kannada news and infotainment channel was caught on Friday night accepting money from a businessman Lakshmiprasad Vajapai is alleged to have threatened and extorted money from the managing directors of a business group.

 

Online records show the channel as belonging to the Reddy brothers including mining baron Janardhan Reddy. The channel’s website introduces Janasri News as a part of Yash Broadcasting Industries Pvt. Ltd. which was started in the year 2011.

 

The police have registered a case vide Cr No 169/17 u/s 384 IPC wherein a person by the name of Lakshmiprasad Vajapai, 42 year old, was caught demanding Rs 10 crore as ransom from a business group. Failure to provide the ransom would mean that the channel would air an episode derogatory or belittling the business group. It seems that the channel had even aired a brief episode to threaten the businessman concerned.

 

Police raided the premises of the news channel after the complainant had given the first instalment to the accused. Police have seized the given amount and arrested Vajapai and one Mithun.

 

Police revealed that the CEO of Janasri channel had previously also been involved in such an operation where he had demanded for a ransom of Rs 15 crore and got Rs 10 crore instead. A case has been registered already in his name, along with other associates at Commercial Street PS Cr No 44/2017 u/s 384, 385, 506 r/w 34 IPC for extortion of ₹ 10 crore and jewellery worth ₹30 lakh from another businessman.

 

 

Vajapai is said to have performed these transactions in the name of various entities. In fact, investigation by police also revealed that another FIR is pending against the CEO of Janasri News Channel and  other at Mahalaxmipuram PS under Cr No 116/2017 u/s 507, 34, 385 IPC dated March 22, 2017 for extortion in the same manner.

 

The police mentioned that the group involved in this kind of blackmailing used their media channel to extort ransoms. Like in this case, Vajapai used to air negative content regarding the target and then blackmail them saying he would expose their business or dealings as the channel had more information on them. He used to threaten to destroy the target’s reputation. While negotiating, he used to demand a heavy ransom.
 

South East Division police under Boralingaiah, IPS, DCP, SE are probing his antecedents and involvement in any other such case of extortion.