Social worker held for trying to extort money from Union min Mahesh Sharma

A social worker was arrested on Friday by the Noida Police on charges of trying to extort Rs 2 crore from Union minister and BJP leader Mahesh Sharma, officials said. Usha Thakur, in her 60s, was held from her house in Sector 31 at around 10 am, a police official said. Thakur is accused of extortion, forgery and criminal conspiracy linked to a pre-election sting operation done by a gang helmed by a man who ran a local news channel that was shut down after demonetisation, according to the police. The gang was demanding Rs 2 crore from Sharma after threatening to make public an objectionable video, the officials said, adding that three people directly linked to the case were already arrested in April. Usha Thakur was arrested this morning from her house. She has been arrested following detailed interrogation of other accused involved in this case, SHO of the Sector 20 police station Rajvir Singh Chauhan said. She was produced before a local court, which remanded her in judicial custody, he said. One more man, identified as Khalid, who worked in the gang, is absconding, the SHO added. Thakur has worked for a long time in Noida as a social worker and hogged limelight for her work in getting justice for victims of the sensational Nithari serial murder case.