Amid speculation over names of people involved in the alleged honeytrap racket that has dominated headlines in Madhya Pradesh, Special DG Purushottam Sharma has accused the state’s topmost police officer, DGP V K Singh, of resorting to a “low-level” campaign to defame him.
Three days ago, Singh asked Sharma to explain why a flat had been rented for the cyber cell in Ghaziabad without the knowledge or permission from police headquarters. The flat has now been vacated. The notice was issued amid media reports that a flat rented by an IPS officer near Delhi had been used by people involved in the alleged racket.
The matter came to light recently in Indore, where an engineer with Indore Municipal Corporation approached the police with a complaint that he was being blackmailed with a sex clip. Sharma, who is attending a conference organised by the Kerala government at Thiruvananthapuram, told The Indian Express that he got to know about the notice and the DGP’s statement — given to a local newspaper — on Thursday. He said he was shocked to learn that the news clippings had been deliberately circulated in police headquarters and on social media to tarnish his image.
The special DG, who is also in charge of the cyber cell, spoke to Chief Minister Kamal Nath to present his side of the story. He said the flat had been rented only a fortnight ago and was meant to facilitate the stay of constables and head constables “who go to Delhi to carry out raids and arrest culprits. If they stay in hotels and claim TA/DA, it will run into lakhs. Where is the honeytrap in this?’’
Sharma said he had sent a copy of the rent agreement to the headquarters. “I did not seek sanction. I have been using my discretionary funds,” he said. “I am the seniormost (in line of next DGP) and have four-and-a-half years to go in service. DGs come and DGs go. It does not matter if I become DG or not. But senior officers should not resort to such a low level and engage in a witch hunt.”
Sources in the police headquarters confirmed that the notice had been sent by the DGP to Sharma. Singh’s phone was switched off.
Sources, however, said the flat had been rented nearly two months ago and not last fortnight. When the agreement reached the headquarters, the DGP was not in town.
Sharma got in touch with the IPS association with a request to call a meeting and stop the name-calling, which he said was damaging the image of the police force.
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