After the police arrested the women involved and unearthed the Madhya Pradesh honey trap racket, there are new skeletons tumbling out of the closet every day. It was earlier reported that among the names of high profile and powerful persons ‘trapped’ by the women, there are several names of ministers and IAS officers in the state.
As per latest reports, the investigating team has found that the racket also included names of several Bhopal-based media persons. As per an IANS report, the names include a resident editor of a Hindi newspaper, a cameraman of a news channel and the owner of the regional satellite channel.
The media persons, as per the report, were not the victims of the honey trap racket but rather the ‘conduits’. The media persons allegedly helped broker deals between the bureaucrat victims and Shweta Jain, the kingpin of the racket.
The allegation of journalists and key media persons being involved in the racket was first made by BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya recently. Speaking to media, Vijayvargiya had stated that he has specific information about 3 or 4 journalists being involved in the racket.
IANS has quoted Hemant Sharma, the editor-in-chief of a Hindi daily saying that there is a certain group of journalists who move in the power corridors only with the sole purpose of blackmailing and extorting money from the senior government officials and politicians who they know are involved in corruption. Sharma has also stated that Shweta and Arti Dayal did have some journalists in their racket who they used for negotiating deals with their victims.
In another development, the father of Monika Yadav, the 18-year-old girl who was arrested among other women, was detained by the Indore police for interrogation. Reports stated that Monika had revealed that some material evidence is hidden in her house and the police team had gone to the Sawansi village in Rajgarh district along with Monika.
Monika, reportedly a talented girl from a poor family, was trapped by Arti Dayal with the promise of financial help for a journalism course. Monika and Arti were arrested along with their driver Omprakash on September 18 from a hotel in Indore, where they had gone to collect Rs 50 lakh from a government official whom they were blackmailing.
Arti Dayal, Shweta Swapnil Jain, Barkha Soni, Shweta Vijay Jain, Monika Yadav and a driver named Omprakash Kori were the first persons to be arrested in the high profile honey trapping racket. Barkha is the wife of a former Congress IT cell vice president and a former Mahila Congress member. Shweta had even tried to get an election ticket from Sagar but could not do it after her MMS went viral.
As many as 13 IAS officers, a former governor and a former chief minister are reportedly among the people used by the racket to extort money and favourable deals for their NGOs. The police are now examining thousands of digital files, filled with lurid sex chats, videos and images that were recovered from the arrested persons.