More than 40 call girls, including a few B-grade actresses from Bollywood, were engaged to honey-trap bureaucrats and politicians, including a former Chief Minister and Governor of Madhya Pradesh, by a big blackmailing syndicate in Bhopal. As of now, 92 high-quality video clips, depicting bureaucrats and politicians in a compromising position, have been recovered from two laptops and several mobile phones of five women arrested on charges of a sex-blackmail and extortion racket which has rocked MP, a politically volatile state in central India.
The Special Investigation Team of MP police led by Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Sanjeev Shami, is gathering clinching evidence by matching video clips with the location of sites where it was shot by the call girls or by the women running the sex and blackmailing racket. Sanjeev Shami, a senior IPS officer, was given the charge of investigation in the case while replacing D. Srinivas on Tuesday amid allegation by the BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya that Congress government was selectively targeting BJP leaders in the sex scandal which now requires an independent agency such as the CBI to probe the case.
Sources in the SIT revealed to IANS that kingpin of the sex racket, Shweta Swapnil Jain, arrested by SIT, hired top call girls to honeytrap bureaucrats and politicians holding important offices of the state government. "After initial interaction with a bureaucrat or a minister, Shweta used to invite the 'target' for sex, to a guest house or a five star suite of her choice. Once the 'target' was involved in a sexual act, his video was recorded either by a hidden mobile or a spy cam," said an officer of the SIT who claimed hat five hard disks have been seized from Shweta's husband Swapnil Jain in this connection.
Some of the 'target' who flew to Mumbai or Delhi on official tours were provided models and Bollywood actresses, often on their demand. However, SIT has still to seize such video clips where any known actress could be seen.
During her interrogation Shweta confessed that once a Minister or Secretary were honey-trapped, his favour was sought in procuring lucrative government contracts for the NGO run by Shweta. Sources said that Shweta admitted that the NGO run by her husband was obliged with Rs 8 crore contract from the Bhopal Municipal Corporation. Many such contracts running into several crores were secured from various state government departments such as PWD, Housing, Social Welfare and other Government corporations. Shweta also admitted that a former CM of MP gifted her a bunglow in Minal Residency, in posh Bhopal area.
Speaking on the involvement of former ministers and bureaucrats in the sex racket, state Congress spokesperson K.K. Mishra said the racket was being operated in Bhopal, Indore and other prominent towns of MP. "It (racket) was going on for years, therefore 80 per cent of politicians involved in the blackmail are of the BJP. Police Have got names of all the leaders, however I would not take any names till there is any arrest of a politician or a bureaucrat".
On being asked about the involvement of Congress leaders, Mishra said among the politicians honey-trapped by the syndicate, around 20 per cent Congress functionaries were also hooked by the operators. "We will arrest Congress persons too if their involvement in obliging the operators is proved prima facie. But let me repeat, the majority of leaders involved in the scandal are from the BJP, " Mishra, the man who primarily highlighted the scandal, told IANS.
Besides Shweta Jain, another women Aarti Dayal, arrested by the SIT, admitted during her questioning that she came in contact with a senior IAS officer of MP cadre who introduced her to several ministers. Aarti said she continued to oblige the IAS officer who also arranged a flat for her in Bhopal. Later the flat, occupied by Aarti became a den of all sorts of illicit deals.
Aarti also revealed that spy cameras were installed in a few rooms of the flat where politicians, bureaucrats and top government engineers were stung in a compromising position. Aarti also employed call girls in performing sting operations. In a few cases, Aarti also obliged ministers by engaging B grade Bollywood heroines and models.
Like Shweta, the mastermind of the racket, Aarti also floated an NGO to procure large amount of government funds from the bureaucrats and the Ministers concerned in lieu of providing them call girls. Aarti also revealed that only in rare cases the 'target' was confronted with the spy cam recordings as in most of the cases, the "target" used to easily facilitate government funds to her NGO.
Sources in the SIT disclosed that after forensic examination of video clips, the persons blackmailed by syndicate will be identified. A case could be registered against these high profile persons, once it is established that they obliged the women with government funds or lucrative contracts.
As per the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, only those government servants( including Ministers) could be charged who have granted out-of-turn contracts or funds from the treasury to the sex-blackmail syndicates. Participation in illicit sex activities does not attract sections of the Corruption Act, though action can be taken under Service Conduct rules.