Amid Madhya Pradesh honey-trap, why two IPS officers are feuding
Days after the high profile honey-trapping case in Madhya Pradesh hit headlines, the controversy has locked Director General of Police VK Singh and Special Director General (Special Task Force and Cyber Cell) Purushottam Sharma in a face-off. Reportedly, DGP Singh recently had a flat in Ghaziabad vacated alleging it was linked to the honey-trapping case. The flat was rented out by the Special DG.
On Wednesday, Singh issued a notice to Sharma asking him to explain why the Ghaziabad flat was rented out without the knowledge of the police headquarters, The Indian Express reported. Thereafter, the DGP had the flat vacated. Media reports emerged that the flat had been used by people involved in the alleged sex racket. Sharma claimed that this is a "low-level" defamatory campaign.
According to the Special DG, the flat had been rented out two weeks ago to constables and head constables who visit New Delhi for investigations. He said he didn't seek a sanction because he used discretionary funds and has sent a rent agreement copy to the headquarters. Special DG Sharma has even approached Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister to present his side of the story.
Sharma said, "I'm the senior-most (in line of next DGP) and have 4.5 years to go in service. DGs come and DGs go. It doesn't matter if I become DG. Senior officers shouldn't resort to such a low level and engage in a witch-hunt."
Furthermore, Sharma also questioned the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the honey-trapping case. The New Indian Express quoted Sharma as saying, "I firmly believe that in the wake of such controversies, it's all in the fairness of justice that supervision of the SIT is carried out by a DG-rank official who is not under the control of the state PHQ."
Sharma added, "Secondly, I also personally believe that with cyber cell and STF operations being very sensitive in nature, their location-specific details (like where they stay during special operations) shouldn't be made public, as its ramifications could be serious." Sharma has also approached the IPS Association for a meeting to stop the name-calling. Meanwhile, the DGP's office is yet to respond.
The honey-trapping racket came to light after an Indore Municipal Corporation engineer filed a police complaint about being blackmailed with a sex clip. A police investigation exposed the high-level sex racket masterminded by one Shweta Swapnil Jain. Jain lured top bureaucrats and politicians into sexual relationships and later blackmailed them with video clips. Reportedly, Jain employed sex workers, college students, and actors.
Initially, the SIT probing the incident was led by DIG (CID) D Sriniwas Verma, however, it was dissolved within 24 hours. Verma was also left out of the SIT, which was later handed over to Additional Director General Sanjeev Shami.