After a Special Investigative Team (SIT) was formed to investigate the high profile honey-trap racket uncovered in Madhya Pradesh, significant new details have come to light. Earlier, the wife of the state coordinator of Congress party’s IT Cell was arrested for her involvement in the racket.
The arrested women in the honey-trapping racket are identified as 39-year-old Shweta Vijay Jain, 48-year-old Shweta Swapnil Jain, 35-year-old Barkha Soni (wife of former Congress IT cell vice-president), 34-year-old Aarti Dayal and an 18-year-old college student. Omprakash Kori, 34, who drives Aarti Dayal’s car was also arrested.
As per reports, SIT has now come across a list of 13 IAS officers, who served in various departments such as fisheries, agriculture, culture, industries, urban administration, forest and others at various points of time, that the women kept. The ‘hit list’ was created from the pages of a government diary by the ring handler with ticks and codes scribbled against their names. The precise number of officers who got honey trapped is still a matter of investigation.
Nearly 4,000 files containing screenshots of sex chats, videos of officers in compromising positions, and audio clips have so far been recovered from laptops and mobile phones confiscated from the honeytrap ring by the investigative authorities. Reportedly, the investigators are suffering an embarrassing time going through all the lurid details of the matter.
More than 40 call girls, including B-grade Bollywood actresses, were used to honey trap politicians, bureaucrats including a former Chief Minister and Governor of Madhya Pradesh. According to reports, the kingpin in the racket was Shweta Swapnil Jain. “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,” an SIT officer involved in the investigation was quoted by India Today as saying.
Shweta has reportedly confessed that once a Minister or Secretary was honey-trapped, his favour was used to procure lucrative contracts for the NGO she was running. The Bhopal Municipal Corporation reportedly obliged her with a Rs. 8 crore contract. She also confessed that a former Chief Minister of the state had gifted her a bungalow in Minal Residency, a posh Bhopal area.
Congress spokesperson in the state, 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 percent 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”. He added, “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.”
Furthermore, it’s now being reported that meritorious girls from poor families were targeted by the gang members for their racket. They were promised scholarships but were then forced into prostitution. “The families of the girls were approached through one of the accused and the gang had plans to push them into prostitution and make them members of the gang as they had done with Monika Yadav who was a brilliant student in school,” a source was quoted by India Today as saying.
Shweta, the kingpin, has reportedly confessed that she had trapped dozens of college girls and made them sleep with bureaucrats and politicians. Videos were made of these sexual escapades and these videos were then used by the gang to extort money.