Courtesy: Union minister Dr Mahesh Sharma

Noida Police on Monday arrested a journalist for allegedly blackmailing Union minister Dr Mahesh Sharma after conducting a sting operation on him.

The journalist claimed to have caught Sharma accepting a bribe, and allegedly demanded Rs 2 crore from the minister.

We were informed at around 1.30 pm by the Union minister, telling us that a person is blackmailing him to the tune of 2 crore. The blackmailer allegedly asked him for 45 lakh by evening and the rest of the money later, else he would release a particular video to the media. We found that a woman had been sent by the person making the demand. The woman has been arrested and we are questioning her to ascertain further details Gautam Buddh Nagar SSP Vaibhav Krishna said.

The arrest was made from Sharma’s Kailash Hospital amid heavy barricading and security deployment.

According to the police, a video recording of a conversation between the journalist and Sharma has been recovered, and no objectionable content was found. The police said they recovered a piece of paper from the woman, which mentioned the Rs 45 lakh to be provided by evening and other details of suspected extortion.

Sharma claimed he was approached by the woman prior to the elections. “We had come in touch last month when she expressed interest in a door-to-door campaign… It was just a conversation. I got a call from another person in the first week of April claiming they have a video of me talking about money, which was absolutely untrue. It later turned out to be a demand for money…,” he said.