Bhopal: All three inter-related and high-profile criminal cases, including blackmailing and extortion of Congress MLA Hemant Katare by a journalism student, alleged rape of the student by the legislator and alleged kidnapping of the student’s mother by the MLA and aides, will now be probed by a special investigation team (SIT) of Bhopal police.
A nine-member SIT, including additional SP (ASP-Bhopal Zone 1) Dharamveer Singh Yadav, ASP (Crime Against Woman) Shraddha Joshi, two city SPs (CSP), three police station in-charges and two sub-inspectors was constituted at the behest of the deputy inspector general of police (DIG-Bhopal) Dharmendra Chaudhary.
The SIT will probe all three cases under the supervision of SP (Bhopal South) Rahul Lodha and will complete its investigations within the time stipulated under the CrPc provisions, inspector general of police (IG-Intelligence) of MP police, Makarand Deuskar said on Tuesday.
The constitution of SIT to probe these cases comes two days after leader of opposition in the state assembly Ajay Singh ‘Rahul’ met chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal on Sunday and alleged that the first-time Congress MLA from Ater (Bhind) is being targeted as part of some bigger political conspiracy.
Singh had also demanded CBI probe or independent probe by a retired judge into the cases, on which the CM assured Singh that the probe will be impartial.
Also, a series of audio clips bearing purported telephonic conversation between the journalism student woman and the Congress MLA Katare too had gone viral on Monday, in which the aspiring journo is heard negotiating some monetary deal with the legislator. In the same clip, the journalism student is heard telling Katare that besides her, four more persons, including Arvind Bhadoria are privy to the entire dealings.
Arvind Bhadoria, is the BJP leader who had lost the assembly by-poll from Ater (Bhind) in April 2017 to Katare by a margin of just 850-plus votes.
The 20-year-old aspiring journalist, a student of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication in Bhopal was arrested on January 24 by the Bhopal crime branch for allegedly threatening to implicate the Congress MLA in a rape case and subsequently extorting Rs 5 lakh from him.
The journalism student who was since then lodged at the Bhopal Central Jail had on February 1 sent a letter-cum-complaint to DIG-Bhopal, alleging that Katare raped her several times in Bhopal and Delhi between September 2017 and January 2018.
Also, her mother submitted another complaint alleging that she was kidnapped by the MLA and her aides on January 27. On February 2, a case of rape and a case of kidnapping were lodged against Katare on the basis of the two complaints at Mahila Thana and Bajaria police station respectively.
On Monday, the alleged rape survivor journalism student was granted bail by the district and sessions court in Bhopal, after which she was released from jail on Tuesday evening.