Madhya Pradesh/67 girls found in raid on newspaper owner’s hotel in Indore, registration papers of properties worth 150 crores seized

  • Action was jointly taken by 9 departments including administration, excise, municipal corporation, narcotics and police after new revelations in Honey Trap case
  • Son of newspaper owner Jitu Soni arrested, police claim – many documents were kept for blackmailing, extortion

Indore: On Saturday night, police raided Sanjha Lokswami newspaper owner Jitu alias Jitendra Soni and his son Amit Soni’s hotel My Home, their house and offices on the complaint of Indore Municipal Corporation suspended engineer Harbhajan Singh in the Honey Trap case. 

According to SSP Ruchivardhan Mishra, the police found 67 girls in the hotel My Home, suspected to have been held hostage. Police have got documents related to the Honey Trap scandal from Soni’s house, Pendrive, CD, registry of more than 30 plots, properties. Their price in the market is more than Rs 150 crores. After Sunday’s action, the police have registered cases of human trafficking, IT Act, Arms Act, causing hindrance in government work against Jitu Soni, Amit, and other family members.

Amit has been arrested by the police, teams are in search of Jeetu Soni. When the team of Women and Child Development Department along with police and administration raided My Home, 7 children were also found along with the girls in the dance bar running in small rooms. Everyone was rescued. The rescued girls and young women were sent to Jeevan-Jyoti Ashram. The team then raided Jitu’s bungalow on Kanadia Road. Here Amit and family members tried to stop the action.

The registration papers of properties found during the search of the house are in the name of others. It is feared that Jeetu had extorted and kept the registration papers of properties belonging to others with him. Cops also seized 36 live and 6 spent cartridges with Amit’s licensed gun. These cartridges were not of a licensed gun, so Amit was booked under the Arms Act

Jitu Soni’s son Amit Soni

What the officials found during raid

  • According to the police, more than 30 registries and documents have been seized in the action taken so far. All were in the names of other people but the names of the owners have not yet been revealed.
  • 30 properties are valued at about Rs 150 crore. Several registries and plot notices were also found.
  • Licensed gun found from Sony’s home. 36 live and 6 spent cartridges were found, which are not of the licensed gun.
  • About 170 videos and audios were found. Among them are around 125 videos and remaining audio clippings.
  • Cops are probing whether or not the hotel signed an agreement with the girls. It is suspected girls used to get money in the form of showering of currency notes by people while they used to dance.
  • The bouncers did not let anyone come on stage. Girls used to come off the stage themselves and take money from regular and premium customers.
  • The IMC is investigating permission for construction and illegal construction, if any, in the hotel. The power company is investigating the power connection.

Action on Harbhajan’s FIR

Jitu Soni, Amit Soni violated my privacy by publishing untrue, misleading news in their newspaper and making videos viral on YouTube with vulgarity. These videos and photos are research material in my own case and they have not been certified in forensic investigation. Publicized videos-photos and harassed me and caused me mental agony. (Excerpts from FIR filed by Harbhajan Singh)

Senior officials discussed with CM then action plan was made

It has also come to light that after publishing the news and photos of Honey Trap in Lok Swami newspaper, some senior officers of Bhopal were apprehensive that there could be revelations of their audios-videos as well. The officers spoke to Chief Minister Kamal Nath and action was initiated after giving them a free hand. In this, Indore Municipal Corporation engineer Harbhajan Singh once again came forward and got the FIR registered. After this, 9 departments like Police, Administration, Excise, Food Department, Municipal Corporation, Narcotics took action jointly.

What SSP Ruchi Vardhan Mishra has to say?

Was action taken under pressure after the revelations of Honey Trap?

SSP – It is wrong to associate it with Honey Trap. We acted on Harbhajan’s complaint.

Is it wrong to do investigative journalism like this?

SSP – It is not related to investigative journalism. It is a crime under the IT Act to publish an intimate photo or video of someone without his permission.

Why did you have to take action suddenly?

SSP- Action was taken on the information of young women held hostage at My Home and earning money immorally. The women were suffering so a case of human trafficking was made.

Such action will be taken in the entire state: Kamal Nath

Chief Minister Kamal Nath said there will be a war against organized mafias in the state. We will take such action in the entire state. I am not going to bow under any pressure. No one can pressurize me. I got the information about blackmailing a month ago. Keeping this in mind, this action has been taken. No pressure will be tolerated. Whatever officers will appear associated with such elements, strict action will be taken against them as well.

Government wants to suppress honey trap: Vijayvargiya

BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said that the retaliatory action taken against the media house that exposed the truth in the Honey Trap case is reprehensible. The state government is trying to suppress the Honey Trap case.

BJP MP Shankar Lalwani said that information has been received that police misbehaved with journalists. The police should do their work within the purview of the law, but such action is reprehensible against the vigilante watchdog and fourth pillar of democracy.