Cyber Crime Cell of Madhya Pradesh police today arrested a leader of BJP’s Anusuchit Jati Morcha (Scheduled Castes wing) and eight others on the charge of running a sex racket.
Neeraj Shakya, BJP SC/ST Cell’s media in-charge for the state was arrested along with eight others from an apartment in Arera Colony from where a gang allegedly ran a website called Bhopalcallgirl.in.
On Friday, the BJP’s state unit president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan sacked Shakya from the party as it tried to control the fallout of the scandal.
The BJP leader also runs a business as sand supplier.
Police said six of those arrested in Thursday’s raid on an apartment in Arera Colony ran the racket while three were customers. Police also rescued four girls in the age group of 20 to 27 years from the apartment.
Superintendent of Police (state cyber cell) Shailendra Singh Chouhan told reporters that police mounted the raid after a tip-off that some people were running an online sex racket from an apartment in Bhopal’s Arera Colony area through a website.
The accused allegedly scoured job websites to target girls who desperately wanted jobs and had uploaded their resumes on the websites. Of the four girls rescued, two were from Maharashtra (Mumbai and Nagpur), one from Meghalaya and another from MP’s Panna district.
Chouhan said that the accused had put mobile numbers on the website. He said the police had put the website under surveillance for last three months during which they found that one of the phone numbers on the website was from Madhya Pradesh. Its location was eventually traced to the Arera Colony before police raided the apartment.
Police said two of the accused were tasked with searching for girls on job websites on which they had put their profiles and mobile numbers. Then the accused would call them and promise them jobs as hotel receptionists, call centres executives or beauticians in beauty parlours.
They would allegedly lure girls to Bhopal on the pretext of an interview while a customer posing as relationship manager or some senior representative of the company in which the girls had been promised a job.
The accused were running a sex racket through an escort service website, police said.
“On a tip-off, a cyber crime cell team raided a flat in Arera Colony late last night and arrested nine persons. The team also rescued four girls,” superintendent of police (cyber cell) Shailendra Singh Chouhan said.
Two of these girls belong to Maharashtra, one is from Meghalaya and another is from Panna in Madhya Pradesh.
The accused targeted the girls from profiles uploaded on job portals, he said.
“They lured such girls by offering jobs of hotel receptionist, call centre executives, etc. They preferred under-educated girls from poor background,” he added.
“The customers were introduced to these girls as `relationship managers’ who will ensure jobs for them,” he said.
Apart from 33-year-old Shakya, other arrested accused are Dinesh alias David (23), Suresh Gehlot (33), Ravi Prajapati (26), Harjeet Dhanwani (26), Manoj Gupta (39), Krishnakumar Jaiswal (21), Suresh Belani (30) and Miswauddin (22). Another person, Subhash alias Vir Dwivedi, is absconding.
State BJP said Shakya was immediately expelled.
“After getting the information that Neeraj Shakya was involved in this immoral act, state president Nandkumar Singh Chouhan expelled him from the party with immediate effect,” BJP’s state media in-charge Lokendra Parashar said