As the Indore police tighten the noose around influential businessman and underworld mafia Jitendra Soni aka Jeetu Soni, a Congress MLA from Manawar seat in Dhar district, Dr Hiralal Alawa, has openly come up to extend his support to him. Alawa has openly condemned the action being taken against the alleged underworld mafia by the Indore police.
According to a report by News 18 Hindi, the Congress MLA Hiralal Alawa, speaking at a program organized by the Indian Journalists Association in Manawar said that the Jai Adivasi Youth Organization is “standing with Jitu Bhai Soniji of Indore”.
Alawa said that Jitu Soni’s newspaper published articles in their support when the Ultratech cement factory in Manawar assembly constituency tried to grab lands in 32 villages. Today, he added, the entire Jay Adivasi Youth Organization is standing with Jitu Soni.
Notably, Jitendra Soni aka Jitu Soni or Jeetu Soni, based in Indore, Madhya Pradesh is the owner of the newspaper ‘Sanjha Lokswami’, an evening tabloid which has been brought under the radar for its alleged involvement in the Madhya Pradesh high-profile honey trap racket busted in September.
Jitu Soni has been accused of involvement in several illegal activities. His involvement in the honeytrap racket was highlighted after his tabloid had published transcripts of the sex chats between the honeytrap gang accused and several political leaders of the previous and current government.
Jeetu Soni has several cases against him, including cases of human trafficking, extortion, blackmailing, arms act and forgery. He has been absconding.
After a principal secretary-rank officer allegedly attempted suicide inside the state secretariat, fearing his video would soon find its way into the public domain, the Indore police had sprung to action and raided Sanjha Lokswami newspaper owner Jitu alias Jitendra Soni and his son Amit Soni’s hotel My Home, their house and offices.
According to SSP Ruchivardhan Mishra, during the raids, police had found 67 girls in the hotel ‘My Home’, suspected to have been held hostage for illegal activities. Police had also recovered documents related to the infamous Honey Trap scandal from Soni’s house. Moreover, pen drives, CDs, registry papers of more than 30 plots, whose prices in the market must be more than Rs 150 crores were also recovered in the raid.
After the action, which was jointly taken by 9 departments including administration, excise, municipal corporation, narcotics and Indore police, cases of human trafficking, IT Act, Arms Act, a case pertaining to causing hindrance in government work had been registered against Jitu Soni, Amit, and other family members. Amit had been arrested by the police, while Jeetu Soni has been absconding.
Apart from this, almost 25 criminal cases of various offences, including provisions of the Information and Technology Act, capturing land and properties of others, human trafficking, blackmailing and extortion have been registered against the mafia.
The Indore Municipal Corporation had recently demolished four illegal structures, including My Home Hotel in Geeta Bhawan, Hotel Best Western in South Tukoganj, O2 cafe in Janjeer Square and Lokswami’s bungalow Jag Villa-a 7,000 square ft structure on a 24,000 square ft plot, built by Jeetu Soni.
According to SSP-Indore Ruchi Vardhan Mishra, while Rs 30,000 bounty has already been declared on the arrest of Soni, a proposal has been sent to the state government to raise the bounty to Rs 1 lakh. “A lookout notice has also been issued to prevent him from fleeing India,” she maintained.
The News 18 report states that Hiralal Alawa’s open support for Jitu Soni is the indicator of the confidence of the MLA that there will be no action against him, as the Kamal Nath government is holding power in the state with a wafer-thin majority. Out of the 116 seats required for a majority, Congress has 115 and is running the government with the support of an independent MLA and other smaller parties.