Zee News does a Tehelka; busts currency notes scam in Nashik

NEW DELHI: News website Tehelka's sting operation relating to a scam involving defence personnel may have been a trend-setter, but the television news channels in India are definitely coming out with their own explosive stories that are making politicians and the government sit up and take notice.

Zee News correspondent Yogesh and cameraman Ravi Vaghul, based in Nashik near Mumbai, today unearthed neatly packed cartons of currency notes belonging to countries like Zambia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and even India in a house in Nashik called Padma.

The notes, on camera, looked like they were just rolled out of a government printing press. The police or the investigating agencies, surprisingly, didn't have an idea of the huge catch lying in Padma despite having raided a house next door and arresting a person for dealing in fake stamps worth over Rs 70 lakh recently.

It has not yet been established whether this is related to the Telgi fake stamp paper scam that has already claimed the head of former police commissioner of Mumbai.

The exclusive story was aired by Zee News today evening at 7 pm, just after discussing the probable outcome of the assembly elections that concluded at 5 pm.

Some top politicians like Congress Party's Rajya Sabha (Upper House) member, Kapil Sibal, and labour minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party Sahib Singh Verma, who had come to the Zee studios on the outskirts of Delhi to discuss politics were left stumped when the story started airing.

A seemingly moved Sibal said on camera, "I am astounded by the nature and size of the scam." Verma agreed, saying, "Such scams go beyond party lines as it involves the whole country and proper investigation should be launched."

The Zee News' Nashik team stumbled upon the story when they entered Padma to follow-up on a previous arrest made by the police.

A jubilant Zee Telefilms news director Laxmi N Goel told just after the story went on air, that "the story was recorded two days ago". Goel said that if the investigating agencies want, Zee News would be happy to co-operate with them in further investigations.

Would this programme give Zee News enough ratings to catch up with the leader, Aaj Tak? That would only be known when the TRPs are compiled for the week by TAM.

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