Indore/Bhopal: The honey-trap racket, which is unravelling as one of the biggest sex scandal of Madhya Pradesh involving political leaders, businessmen and bureaucrats, reminds one of the 'Vyapam' scam which rocked the state 6 years ago.
It started a week ago, when MP police arrested two women and a driver on the complaint of an engineer Harbhajan Singh posted in Indore. A woman called Monika made his video having sex with her and tried to extort Rs 3 crore to keep her mouth shut.
She was arrested while taking the first instalment of Rs 50 lakh from Singh. This led to the unearthing of the biggest honey-trap and blackmailing racket that is now threatening to reach the doorstep of many top bureaucrats and politicians.
The racket was apparently to procure lucrative government contracts, running into several hundred crores, from the targeted VIPs. Most of the contracts were given to reputed companies by the kingpin Shweta Jain and her aide Aarti Dayal, now arrested, on a commission basis.
A dozen top bureaucrats and eight former ministers of Madhya Pradesh are being investigated in the honeytrap-cum-extortion racket by the Special Investigation Team.
In the Vyapam scam, the biggest admission and recruitment scam in professional colleges that rocked MP six years ago, the CBI chargesheeted several officials and politicians and many of them even had to face jail. Starting from Gwalior, the scam unravelled into an inter-state admission racket involving Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
About 50 people related directly or indirectly to the Vyapam scandal died including a journalist who went to cover the scam in Jhabua. The CBI filed cases against 1,450 students and their family members. 3000 suspects were made accused and a large number of them went to jail.
Similarly, the honey-trap and blackmailing racket also seems to be spreading to other states - particularly Maharashtra, as is evident from the more than 200 mobile phone contacts uncovered in raids.
The police have also gathered over 1,000 clips of sex chats, videos and audios from computers and mobile phones of the arrested women.
The massive honey-trap plan, which targeted the high and the mighty, involved five women who used sex workers and young college girls, the police said.
"The unearthing of the honey-trap scam shows moral degradation of our society. This is Vyapam Part-2. Many wealthy politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen and people related to social media are associated with this scam," said Congress spokesman K. K. Mishra and added that Chief Minister Kamal Nath has handed over the probe to IPS officer Sanjeev Shami.
The masks will come off from many faces after the investigation is over, Mishra said.
BJP leader and former minister Narottam Mishra has demanded a CBI probe. BJP spokesman Deepak Gupta has demanded a free and fair probe, but said that the government is trying to take the investigation in a different direction.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh taunted Mishra and said that the BJP wants the scandal to be investigated by the CBI so that it can influence it.
So far the police investigation suggests that the honey-trap and blackmailing scandal is not only restricted to the five women, rather it is also spread to small districts of the state.
Kingpin Shweta Jain admitted that she coerced at least two dozen college going girls, from lower middle class families, to seduce the high and mighty of the MP government with the promise of jobs.
Sources say many political leaders' career will be cut short if a proper investigation is done by the SIT. Both the BJP and the Congress have accused each other of involvement in the scandal.