Madhya Pradesh’s (MP) honey-trap scandal has brought home the fact that organised nature of even a commonplace scam can have dangerous consequences. The midnight police raids in posh areas of Riviera Town and Minal Residency in Bhopal a few days ago unearthed what could be India’s biggest quid pro quo sex scandal.
Strong evidence in the Madhya Pradesh honeytrap scandal suggests that huge amounts, running into several crores, was pocketed by the two women, who blackmailed a bunch of powerful bureaucrats and politicians in the state.
Shweta Jain, the lynchpin of the honeytrap racket, floated two private limited companies in a short span of six months, this year, to run a corporate style business out of the money extorted from bureaucrats, ministers and MLAs. In one of the companies, accused Aarti Dayal, who coerced college-going girls to bed with VIPs, is a director, while Shweta holds the post of managing director.
Shweta’s friend and accomplice in the sex scandal, Barkha Soni ran an NGO, Samarth Samajik Seva Sanstha Samiti, to secure funds generated from the honey-trap racket. While Shweta hobnobbed with the state BJP leaders, Barkha was a frequent visitor at the Congress Headquarters in New Delhi and her Facebook wall is full of her pictures with prominent faces of the party.
Sources said Shweta recorded all her phone calls to blackmail IAS, IPS officers and over a dozen leading state politicians with the recordings later. Most of the call recordings in her mobile phones were not deleted by the time police swooped down on her house in Minal Residency, in Bhopal. The late night calls, either relate to vulgar sex chats or about seeking favours from the VIPs holding important government positions.
SIT sources said Shweta also hired some top call girls from New Delhi to oblige IPS officers at a guest house of the MP Police in Ghaziabad. “It seems the Ghaziabad police guest house was a more secluded place for officers in MP. But we still require solid evidence to prove that the guest house was misused,” a source added.
Two days ago, SIT chief Sanjeev Shami had a long close-door meeting with MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath on the progress made by the SIT in the ongoing probe. Shami later told mediapersons that his team was probing the corruption angle. “If people misused their official positions to grant favours to the sex scandal operators, the SIT will certainly take action,” he said.