Police officers have also been targeted in the sensational extortion racket in Madhya Pradesh that "honey-trapped" senior bureaucrats and eight former ministers with more than 1,000 explicit videos, chats and audio files, a senior officer has alleged. The officer has claimed that high-ranking members of the force were implicated in an attempt to tarnish their reputation because some officers were jealous of work done in important cases.
The police officer, who spoke to NDTV over the phone, said he would write letters to the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the state government.
"How can such a senior officer make statements without verifying facts? Such statements don't just damage a particular officer's reputation... ultimately it discredits and damages the image of entire police department of the state," the officer told NDTV over the phone.
On Thursday the officer in-charge of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) had said senior officers were suspected of "quid-pro-quo benefits".
The dispute started because of reports that the investigation into what has come to be called as a "honey-trap" racket led to a flat in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh that had been taken on rent by Madhya Pradesh Police.
The police officer who spoke to NDTV clarified the flat was only a guest house for Madhya Pradesh Police officers on official work.
"The flat was taken on rent out of source money at our disposal to render guest house/safe house to cops who fail to find suitable accommodation while on special operations outside the state. Is this wrong?" he asked.
"I can understand senior officers becoming jealous and being distracted by the success of another officer.., but they shouldn't stoop to such lows," he said, adding that he also intended to make the office of Chief Minister Kamal Nath aware of the situation.
The flat has reportedly been rented by a member of the Cyber Cell of Madhya Pradesh Police. The officer has been asked to give an explanation.
Screenshots of WhatsApp messages from the mobile phones of senior IAS officers have also come under scrutiny.
Meanwhile, on Friday a local court granted police remand of four suspects.
Shweta Sapnil Jain, 48, and Barkha Soni, 35 will be in custody till September 30 and Arti Dayal, 34, and Monica will be in custody till October 1. Arti Dayal has protested her innocence, claiming officers at a police station in Indore had forced her to sign a blank paper.
According to police the racket, which was busted last week, was run by five women who used sex workers and college students to trap and extort money. More than 200 mobile phone contacts uncovered in raids suggest the scam may not have been limited to Madhya Pradesh.
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