Kolkata, May 26: Television news channel Republic Bangla on Wednesday suspended its reporter Avishek Sengupta after it came to light that he had been booked on charges of abducting a businessman and extorting Rs 15 lakh from his family.

Republic Media Network announced Sengupta’s suspension on Twitter and said: “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.”

According to the police, Sengupta has been absconding since Tuesday, when the alleged abduction took place.

Detailing the incident, the channel informed that a reporter named Avikesh Sengupta has been suspended from service with immediate effect as he is allegedly said to be involved in not just a case of impersonation but even kidnapping.

According to the FIR lodged against the accused at the Kasba police station in south Kolkata Monday, the five had demanded a ransom of Rs 2 crore from Roy’s wife but later settled for Rs 15 lakh, before releasing the businessman.

Police sources said three of Sengupta’s accomplices, Swarup Roy, Pratik Sarkar, and Rajesh Adhikar, have been arrested.

The police also said more people were believed to be involved in the case, and that they had collected CCTV footage from various places to hunt for Sengupta.

The police have charged him under sections 170 (pretending to be a public servant), 364A (kidnapping for ransom), 386 (extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt), and 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

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The journalist, Avishek Sengupta, has worked at Republic Bangla as a principal correspondent since its launch earlier this year. He previously worked for TV channels like Onkar News, Bangla Bharat, and Calcutta News. According to Republic, Sengupta was on probation.