The sex scandal in Madhya Pradesh has culminated in a face-off between Madhya Pradesh Director General of Police VK Singh and another officer who is his equal in stature.
It all began when Mr Singh recently got an apartment in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad vacated in the wake of inputs that it was linked to the racket, which involved blackmailing powerful people after luring them into sexual relationships. The only catch was: The property was being rented out by Special Director General (Special Task Force and Cyber Cell) Purushottam Sharma, and he didn't like it one bit.
Mr Sharma has now demanded that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case be supervised by an official of the Director General rank who is not under the state police's control. "In my opinion, the SIT has been plagued by controversy right from the time it was constituted. At first, it was headed by an IG-CID, then an ADG-rank officer was made its head and, subsequently, its members were also changed. Subsequently, a flat housing the guest house of the cyber cell was linked to the sex scandal," he said.
Mr Sharma claimed that the position of the state Director General of Police has become "untenable" under such circumstances. "I firmly believe that in the wake of such controversies, it's in the interests of justice that supervision of the SIT be carried out by a DG-rank official who is not under the control of the state police headquarters.
Secondly, I also believe that as cyber cell and STF operations are very sensitive in nature, their location-specific details (like where they stay during special operations) shouldn't be made public because its ramifications could be serious," he added.
Sharma has also written a letter to the Indian Police Service Association in this connection. The Madhya Pradesh DGP has, however, refused to comment on the issue.
The sex scandal in Madhya Pradesh, which resulted in the arrest of five women along with their driver on Wednesday, had the accused luring powerful people into sexual relationships that eventually culminated in blackmail. Many of the people involved ended up facilitating the transfer of lucrative government projects to the accused's clients, the probe has found.
The SIT is now trying to trace the money trail of the accused as well as their travel history over the last few years. According to police, one of them even made trips to Nepal, Dubai and a European country. On the Nepal trip, she was allegedly accompanied by a former state minister.
Investigators are probing four bank accounts and two lockers held by two of the operatives to trace the money trail.