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After babus and ministers, role of journalists emerges in MP sex scandal

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Bhopal, Sep 26 : Names of several Bhopal-based journalists have emerged in the high-profile honey-trap and extortion racket of Madhya Pradesh. The journalists allegedly having a role in the case, include a resident editor of a Hindi newspaper, a cameraman of a news channel and an owner of a regional satellite TV channel. The journalists were apparently negotiating deals with bureaucrats and honey-trap kingpin Shweta Jain, acting as key conduits, sources said.

On the involvement of journalists in the case, spokesperson for ruling Congress in the state K.K. Mishra said whoever is involved in the scandal would be booked as soon as evidence is gathered by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Mishra, considered close to Chief Minister Kamal Nath, was the first to highlight the case. “As far as I know, a few journalists, close to bureaucrats, negotiated deals on behalf of the officials. They were not directly involved with the accused, arrested in the case,” said Mishra.

Earlier, BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya alleged that he has specific information about three-four journalists who were involved in the blackmailing scandal. The SIT has not yet denied Vijarvargiya’s allegation about the involvement of journalists in a case which has rocked the central Indian state.

After bureaucrats and politicians, the alleged involvement of journalists in the scandal has added more hype to the case, generating curiosity about the real identities of the accomplices in the crime. On the role of a few journalists in the scandal, editor-in-chief of a prominent Hindi daily published from Indore, Hemant Sharma said for years a small group of journalists in the state capital have been found engaged in striking such shady deals.

“Actually it is a small bunch of so-called journalists, who move in the corridors of power with the sole purpose of extorting money from bureaucrats or politicians involved in corrupt practices. However, as of now, SIT has not named anyone (journalist). I can only say that Shweta and Aarti, used a few journalists in negotiating deals with the bureaucrats or ministers,” said Hemant Sharma.

Sources in the SIT revealed to IANS that the investigation at present is focussed on ascertaining the role of bureaucrats and other persons(politicians) holding important positions in the government. “The mastermind of the racket, Shweta Jain, her husband Swapnil Jain, and aide Aarti Dayal have already been arrested. During their interrogation, it came to light that people in power, honeytrapped by Shweta and Aarti, have funded their NGOs.

Besides, lucrative government contracts were also offered to the Jains in lieu of seeking sexual favours. “If documents of such contracts are traced, we will definitely take action against government servants,” said an MP police officer, adding, that “sex-scandal was going on in Bhopal for more than 7-8 years.”

Meanwhile, SIT chief Sanjeev Shami told media persons that if evidence suggests that bureaucrats have misused their office in obliging sex-scandal operators, then they will be booked. Shami, an ADG rank IPS officer of MP cadre, had allegedly put together various teams and assigned them specific tasks. One of the most important tasks was to identify government contracts allotted by bureaucrats or Ministers to the ring leader of sex-scandal. Once the police establish the misuse of official powers, cases will be registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act against officials and politicians, Shami said.

India

TN Covid cases up by 5,835

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Corona-Virus

Chennai, Aug 13 Tamil Nadu logged 5,835 fresh Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours while a total of 5,146 people were cured of the disease and discharged from different hospitals in the state, said the Health Department on Thursday.

In a statement issued here, the department said 5,835 persons tested positive for coronavirus taking the tally to 320,355.

The total number of Covid-19-cured patients discharged from various hospitals in the state went up by 5,146 to 261,459.

The number of active Covid-19 cases in the state after taking into account the cured and dead stands at 53,499. The state recorded the deaths of 119 Covid-19 patients taking the death toll till date to 5,397.

The number of infected children in the state in the age group of 0-12 went up to 15,614.

The state capital Chennai continued to head the Covid-19 infection table with 989 persons testing positive for the virus and its total tally stands at 113,058.

( With inputs from IANS 

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Kolkata top cop tests Covid positive

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covid-19 test

A senior Kolkata Police officer tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, police said.

City police Joint Commissioner (Headquarters) Subhankar Sinha Sarkar tested positive for Covid-19 at the Kolkata Police headquarters in Lalbazar. He was suffering from fever for the past three days and went for a corona test. The report came out on Thursday.

Police sources at Lalbazar said Sarkar has now gone into home isolation. His condition is stable as of now. Those who came in contact with him in the past one week will also have to undergo Covid tests at Lalbazar.

According to sources, all police stations have been advised to reduce the number of police personnel at barracks to avoid Covid-19 infections. Over 1,000 frontline Covid warriors of the Kolkata Police have already been infected by coronavirus. Many of them are still in home isolation.

Source: IANS

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HC to Delhi Cantt board: No coercive action against DIA

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Delhi High Court

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi Cantonment Board (DCB) to not take any coercive steps against the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), which operates the national capital’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport relating to the Rs 2,600 crore property tax demand by the authority for the 2016-19 period.

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