Lucknow, June 8: Hours after being taken into police custody, businessman Abhishek Gupta, who had accused Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s Principal Secretary SP Goel, of seeking bribe of Rs 25 lakh, withdrew his charges on Friday evening. However, his sudden detention ahead of his press conference and withdrawal of the charges made many believe that coercion or harassment by the state police was the reason for Gupta’s change in the stance. Also Read - Kangana Ranaut Wants 'Terrorism Free' Film Industry After Yogi Adityanath's Announcement

Retracting his charges, the young businessman, in a video, said that he “was upset and had lost his mental balance after the senior IAS official trashed his file despite completion of all formalities”. In the video, which has surfaced on social media, Gupta, as per the reports, was seen prompted by a policeman into parroting the clarification. Also Read - School Reopening News: This BJP-ruled State Refuses to Resume Classes From Sept 21 | Here's Why

Gupta is seen saying that he had met Goyal for clearance of his file but the officer put some queries, which despite being sent back from the district administration were not entertained by the Principal Secretary to Yogi Adityanath. He later says that in a state of depression — as he was shelling out an interest of Rs 1.10 lakh per month against the loan taken for setting up the petrol pump — he made these frivolous charges against the top bureaucrat. Also Read - 'Arrest, Search Without Warrant': UP Govt To Set Up New Special Security Force | All You Need to Know

Abhishek Gupta was detained ahead of his press conference at Lucknow’s Press Club and booked for cheating and “defaming the state government and levelling false charges against UP government official SP Goel”. Following the charges, which came to surface after Governor Ram Naik’s letter to the CM, Adityanath sought an investigation into the allegations made against the principal secretary. He has also asked chief secretary Rajive Kumar for the details.

In his letter, Naik said the business had claimed that since he was not yielding to the bribe demanded by the IAS officer, he was sitting on the file and not disposing it of. “Mr Gupta says that the principal secretary to chief minister, SP Goel, is demanding Rs 25 lakh to provide land for broadening of the main road and he is not able to set up the petrol pump due to delay in the decision on the representation. I am sending Mr Abhishek Gupta’s letter to you for appropriate action,” Ram Naik said in the letter.

Lucknow’s senior superintendent of police Deepak Kumar confirmed the reports and said the businessman had been let off after a written apology. “He has been handed over to his maternal grand father who lives in Lucknow and the probe is underway,” he said.

With agency inputs