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MP honeytrap case: Money in, accused made ‘deal with victims not to blackmail’

The chargesheet refers to one such “rajinama agreement’’ among a Jaipur-based builder and two accused — Aarti Dayal and the youngest accused (name withheld) in the case — after a dispute over money.

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Updated: January 1, 2020 8:15:07 am
Madhya Pradesh honey trap case, Sanjha Lokswami, Sanjha Lokswami editor, Madhya pradesh newspaper editor raided, MP honey trap case, editor raided, Jitendra Soni, Madhya Pradesh journalists, honey trap case The chargesheet does not elaborate on the alleged agreement but mentions details of the youngest accused person’s visits to Jaipur. Dayal is the youngest accused in the case.

After getting money from some victims, the accused in the Madhya Pradesh ‘honeytrap case’ had signed agreements with them, promising not to blackmail them in future and destroy the videos in their possession, according to the chargesheet filed by the CID in a Bhopal court.

The chargesheet refers to one such “rajinama agreement’’ among a Jaipur-based builder and two accused — Aarti Dayal and the youngest accused (name withheld) in the case — after a dispute over money.

The chargesheet does not elaborate on the alleged agreement but mentions details of the youngest accused person’s visits to Jaipur. Dayal is the youngest accused in the case.

According to the police, at least two more agreements had been recovered during searches at premises of the accused persons, including Dayal. Five diaries were recovered from Dayal, which have details of alleged transfers of government employees and officers, besides land deals, according to the chargesheet.

Read | Madhya Pradesh: Fifth property of editor-owner razed

In one of the diaries recovered from Dayal, code words have been used to detail monetary transactions and the identity of alleged victims, the chargesheet states.

The police have said that bank cheques worth more than Rs 10.04 crore have been recovered from Dayal.

SIT chief Rajendra Kumar said a supplementary chargesheet will be filed in a month-and-a-half. Defending the chargesheet, he said only those people against whom the police have evidence have been named as accused, not others named by the youngest accused in her statements.

The chargesheet has listed 12 witnesses and named two TV journalists – Veerendra Sharma and Gaurav Sharma – and Arun Sehlot, who is a builder and owns the Hindi newspaper Raj Express. It alleges that Sehlot circulated a video clip of Additional Chief Secretary P C Meena. It also says he was allegedly associated with the accused.

Denying the charges, Sehlot told The Indian Express that he has been accused of circulating the video and also of involvement with the gang. He said, “Why would I circulate the video if I was involved in the racket?”

Sehlot admitted that he knew about Meena’s video, and knew two of the accused women because they had purchased a house and a plot in a colony he had developed. He claimed that he has never met Gaurav Sharma, and last met Veerendra Sharma at least six or seven years ago.

Read | Honeytrap case halts the sweet run, sticky record of MP tabloid’s editor-owner

Veerendra Sharma had denied any involvement in the case.

While Sehlot was questioned by the investigators, the two journalists have not been questioned so far. Neither journalist has been made an accused, although the chargesheet gives details of their alleged involvement in blackmail and collection of money.

The chargesheet filed in Bhopal court is different from the one filed in an Indore court. The Bhopal chargesheet is associated with the case of human trafficking, filed by father of the youngest accused, and does not name all the accused in the main case. The main case came to light in September 2019 after an engineer of the Indore Municipal Corporation filed a complaint alleging that the gang wanted Rs 3 crore from him for not circulating video clips that purportedly showed him in compromising positions.

Sanjha Lokswami, an Indore-based evening newspaper, had also reported about one such alleged agreement between the accused and a senior bureaucrat. It is not clear whether the SIT has included that document in the main chargesheet filed in Indore court, or taken it on record.

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