The Kolkata Police are on the lookout for television news channel Republic Bangla reporter Avishek Sengupta, who is an accused in connection to a case over impersonating a CBI officer and abducting a person for ransom.
According to a report by The Indian Express report, three persons have been arrested so far in the case involving the kidnapping of Kolkata-based web designer and the extortion of Rs 15 lakh from his family.
Sengupta, who is also allegedly involved in the case, is reportedly absconding. Police is conducting raids to find him, an official told The Indian Express.
What Is the Case?
Ajit Roy, a resident of Bosepukur, was reportedly taken away by a group of people claiming to be CBI officials on Monday, 24 May, as per an Indian Express report. The imposters had raided Roy's home-office, seized three laptops and a hard disk, and said they were taking Ajit to the CBI office at Nizam Palace.
His wife, Swity Nath Roy, had then received a call demanding Rs 2 crore for his release soon after this, which was brokered down to Rs 15 lakh.
Roy filed a complaint at the Kasbah police station after the release of her husband following the payment of the ransom.
The FIR names 'Swarup Roy, seven males, one lady and other unknown persons' as suspects.
Sengupta has been booked under Sections 170 (pretending to be a public servant), 386 (extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt), 364A (kidnapping for ransom), and 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, as per a report by The Print.
Swarup Roy, Pratik Sarkar, and Rajesh Adhikar, who are deemed to be Sengupta's accomplices, have been arrested by the police so far. Sengupta has reportedly been absconding since Monday, the day of the crime.
What Republic Bangla Has Said
Sengupta covered the CBI beat for his reporting job at Republic Bangla.
Following the police investigation into Sengupta’s alleged criminal involvement, Republic Media Network immediately announced his suspension from their company.
A press release issued by The Republic on Twitter stated: "Republic Bangla has suspended from service Avishek Sengupta. Avishek Sengupta was under probation and was not a confirmed employee of Republic Bangla. His probation stands suspended effective 25 May 2021.”
The network expressed their condemnation of Sengupta's alleged criminal conduct. "The Network wholly and entirely condemns such criminal behaviour by anyone, including allegedly by the probationer who has been suspended and is under probe."
The statement added that Sengupta remained unreachable on his phone and his whereabouts are not known to the company.
Sengupta had been working with Republic Bangla as principal correspondent as per a social media account and has previously worked for TV channels like Onkar News, Bangla Bharat and Calcutta New.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and The Print.)