A special court in Chhattisgarh on Monday sent state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel to judicial custody for 15 days after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a chargesheet in connection with the circulation of a CD with sexually explicit content, reported ANI. The CD allegedly features state minister Rajesh Munat, who has claimed it to be fake.
The investigative agency submitted the chargesheet in the court of special CBI judge Sumit Kapoor, who sent Baghel to custody till October 8. The court granted bail to former BBC journalist Vinod Verma and businessman Vijay Bhatiya, who are also accused in the case, reported The Times of India.
Baghel, who did not hire a lawyer, claimed he was innocent. “The government is implicating me after the black flag demonstration,” he said. “People will reply to this case.” He was referring to the party’s protests during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state on September 22. Chhattisgarh will go to the elections later this year.
Baghel said that he would continue his “satyagraha” from jail. “I follow Mahatma Gandhi’s principles and since I have done nothing wrong, I will not apply for bail,” the Chhattisgarh Congress quoted him as saying.
The CD first came to light in October 2017, when the police arrested Verma in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, for allegedly trying to blackmail Munat and extort money. The minister had filed a police complaint against Baghel for circulating the clip. The case was filed under the Information Technology Act.
While Verma got out on bail in January and alleged that he had been framed, Baghel was questioned by the CBI in May. Baghel claimed that Chief Minister Raman Singh’s office was also involved in the case and should be investigated.
The CBI had also questioned another suspect, Rinku Khanuja, who was later found hanging at his shop in Raipur. Khanuja’s mother has accused the agency of torturing him.