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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

MP top cop sets up SIT to probe honey trap scandal, complainant suspended

The extortion racket has led to war of words between the ruling party Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

india Updated: Sep 23, 2019 23:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Monica Yadav, one of the accused in honey trap gang case  who  was arrested on Thursday.
Monica Yadav, one of the accused in honey trap gang case who was arrested on Thursday.(PTI)
         

The Madhya Pradesh police on Monday constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe an alleged extortion racket after a honey trap came to light on Thursday with arrest of six people including five women.

“Director General of Police (DGP) Vijay Kumar Singh has constituted a special investigation team to probe the crime (405/19) lodged with Palasia police station in Indore on September 17, 2019. Inspector General (crime investigation) D Shrinivas Sharma will head the SIT to present a report after looking into every aspect of the crime meticulously,” the police said in a statement.

The accused in the honey trap case were arrested on basis of a complaint filed by an Indore municipal corporation engineer Harbhajan Singh.

In a statement on Monday, the corporation said it has suspended Singh.

Also on Monday, a public interest litigation was filed with the MP high court, Indore bench, seeking a high court monitored Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry in the case because several influential people are allegedly embroiled in the case.

Engineer Harbhajan Singh had alleged in the FIR that two of the women were blackmailing him having shot obscene videos of him with one of them.

Those arrested after Singh filed the FIR include Aarti Dayal (29), from Bhopal, Monica Yadav (18), from Rajgarh, Shweta Swapnil Jain (39), from Bhopal, Shweta Vijay Jain (48), from Sagar, Barkha Soni (34) and Omprakash Kori (45) from Bhopal, Indore police said.

The extortion racket has sparked a war of words between the ruling party Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

BJP leaders claimed that one the accused Barkha Soni was Madhya Pradesh Mahila Congress social media coordinator, a claim denied by state Congress media in-charge Shobha Oza.

On her part, Oza alleged that the BJP was trying to destabilise the Congress government by trying to honey trap seven Congress MLAs at the behest of an ex-minister, which was denied by BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal.

Harbhajan Singh had lodged a complaint with police on September 17 that he was being blackmailed by two women Aarti Dayal and Monica Yadav who shot an obscene video of him in an Indore hotel and were demanding Rs three crore for returning the videos.

A day later, Indore police arrested Dayal, Yadav and Om Prakash Kori from Indore, where they had reached to take first instalment of Rs 50 lakh from the engineer. Later, police arrested Shweta Vijay Jain, Shweta Swapnil Jain and Barkha Soni from Bhopal on Thursday.

During the investigation, police seized more than 100 video clips in the mobile phones and laptops of accused.

“Most of the videos are related to politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen. They used to send video grabs through WhatsApp to their targets for blackmailing them. They used spy cameras to make videos,” said a senior police officer.

The accused were booked for cheating by impersonation, extortion and criminal intimidation, police said.

First Published: Sep 23, 2019 23:04 IST

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