Two days after the Mumbai Police claimed to have busted a flesh trade racket in a flat owned by Member of Parliament and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, the former top cop Monday said the case was ‘planted’ and the entire matter ‘fishy’.
Late on Saturday night, the Social Service Branch of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch raided the flat in Patliputra, a society in Versova, belonging to top bureaucrats and police officers. The flat was leased out by Singh to Indiabulls. The SSB arrested the caretaker of the flat, identified as Vakil Shah (37), and rescued two girls from the flat. SSB officers said they had acted on a tip off of an alleged sex racket being run in the flat. A case was subsequently registered with the Versova police and the suspect handed over to them for further investigation.
“I feel the case is a planted one. I have also spoken to some of my sources in the Mumbai Police, who tell me the case is a fishy one. If such immoral activities were going on in a society where several officers stay, someone would have brought it to my notice long back. I have been in touch with Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria, and he has told me that he is initiating a probe into the matter,” Singh said.
Maria could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts. Sadanand Date, Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, however, told The Indian Express, “The raid was conducted in the most professional manner and it was based on specific information.”
But he said the police would look at all the points raised by Singh. “The matter is now being probed by the Versova Police and they are looking at every aspect in the case,” he added.
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Police officers said the 33-month lease taken by Indiabulls would end in August 2014. The company had handed over the property to a caretaker who had been staying there since December 2013. Company officials said they had no clue of a prostitution racket and had not received any complaint from the residents or the society in the past.
Singh claimed that he had given the apartment on rent for “family residence” and not for use as a guesthouse. “The company converted the flat into a guesthouse without my knowledge, and I will be issuing a legal notice to them,” he told The Indian Express. A company spokesperson said, “There was no mention of the flat being treated as a guesthouse or for family residence in the terms of agreement. It was rented for the purposes of a corporate entity and we have abided by the relevant terms.”