The high-profile honeytrap case that could embarrass several bureaucrats, politicians and other officials of the state government is likely to echo in the media for some time to come.
The case exposed on Thursday has baffled the authorities for the ease with which some women could breach the security cordons around several VVIPs in the state.
The police failed to secure remand for three women involved in the case of demanding a sum of Rs 3 crore by implicating the Municipal Corporation engineer in a honeytrap in the district court on Friday. The police had sought two days’remand to question the accused but the court sent the three to jail till October 4.
The court held that there was no basis for police remand. The bail application moved by one of the accused will be heard on September 23.
The three accused were detained three days ago but the police did not show arrest. The court had on Thursday remanded the three accused for one day.
Shweta Vijay Jain, Shweta Swapnil Jain and Barkha Amit Soni, accused in the honeytrap case, were presented before the court on Friday evening. The prosecution told the first class judicial magistrate Rakesh Kumar Patidar that some videos were found in the case.
The accused are yet to be questioned as to when and where these videos have been made. Apart from this, a large amount of money has also been seized. The source and account for the money is being investigated.
State Public Relations Minister P.C. Sharma was asked about reports that the case was being sought to be suppressed as names of officials and politicians are involved in the honeytrap. He claimed the case was revealed only due to the alertness of the police and the Home Minister.
“The government will investigate the entire matter. No one involved in the case will be spared,” Sharma said.
Six persons including five women and a driver were arrested for blackmailing politicians and officers. The entire matter came to light after Harbhajan Singh, a Municipal Corporation engineer from Indore, lodged an FIR with the police. Rs 14 lakh cash, laptop and eight SIMs were recovered from them.
The police also got a dozen videos of leaders and officers from them.
There have also been reports of a former MP trying to commit suicide in the case of blackmailing politicians and officers through pornographic videos.
Women arrested from Indore and Bhopal were frequently seen at the homes of several officers along with politicians, former ministers, MLAs and former MPs. A former Member of Parliament tried to commit suicide after being trapped by one of the women. His party rescued him in the case.
These women were demanding Rs 3 crore threatening to go viral with a video of Harbhajan Singh with a student. The FIR exposed the efforts to blackmail Harbhajan Singh. It was revealed that Arti Dayal, a friend of Singh husband Pankaj Dayal had a friendship with a corporation engineer.
Aarti introduced the engineer to Monika Yadav, an 18-year-old BSC student of Narsinghgarh, on the pretext of getting a job. Aarti made a video of both of them in a hotel and the duo began blackmailing Harbhajan Singh. This was going on for eight months during which Singh paid them hefty sums thrice. The latest demand was for Rs 3 crore.
Singh then lodged a complaint with the police.
Senior Superintendent of Police Ruchivardhan Mishra said Harbhajan filed a police complaint three days ago. The police asked him to call these women to pay Rs 50 lakh. When Aarti, Monika and driver Omprakash reached the appointed place they were caught.
Intelligence agencies arrested three other women from Bhopal. The women had established contacts with influential BJP and Congress leaders and exploited them to connect with senior officers.
Shweta Swapnil Jain has links with three former BJP ministers and a former MLA from Indore. She now lives in a house rented from the BJP MLA and former minister Brijendra Pratap Singh from Panna.
BJP MLA from Neemuch Dilip Singh Parihar said that two years ago, Shweta Swapnil had hired his houe saying her mother-in-law’s health was poor. Later she vacated the house.