Bhopal/Indore, Dec 13 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, during a meeting with senior police and civil administration officers, asked them to rid the state of mafiosi.
In the meeting on Thursday evening, attended by the top officers of Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur, Kamal Nath said the government has given the police a free hand to take the strongest action against the mafia and soon the government will bring a law against organised crime.
The chief minister took this position as the police have often backtracked on action taken against criminals due to pressure from politicians or senior officials. There is also a lurking suspicion that the bureaucracy and political clan are influenced by honey-trap gangs.
A video recording that has gone viral shows a former chief minister (now deceased) and many other former ministers and current bureaucrats and senior police officials sucked into the trap.
A key mafioso, Jitu Soni, who ran a media business and was involved in big ticket property grabbing, has been targeted by the government during a fortnight long drive. He also owned sleaze dens and was accused of human trafficking.
Indore Senior Superintendent of Police Ruchivardhan Mishra’s suggestion during the meeting for a political consensus on the issue came as a measure of the pressure on the police force. The chief minister was visibly irritated and asked why was anybody else required to be consulted after the top executive of the state took a call on the issue.
“The public is disgusted with mafiosi. Many people have complained to me. In view of these complaints I have given a free hand to the police to take direct action,” said Kamal Nath.
He said the police and administration should wreak havoc on the bosses of organised crime. “I want to see Madhya Pradesh mafia-free. The state will have to be freed from all types of mafia, whether they are extortionists, land mafia, drug mafia or co-operative mafia,” Nath added.
“I don’t want this just for optics or for news headlines, I want a certificate of the results of the proceedings against the mafia from the public,” the Chief Minister said.
“An Indore businessman complained to me about Jeetu Soni a month ago saying he was blackmailing people. I asked for details about him and was shocked that this mafia boss has been in the business of encroaching upon property of people for a long time. I then directed the administration to take strict action,” said the CM.
The Chief Minister said that the mafia have to be brought under the law and punished severely. The action should be exemplary and the message should be loud and clear. A separate branch in the police headquarters and a special court were also proposed for dealing with organised crime.
He clarified that action should not be influenced by the political badges of the offenders. No matter how much anyone seeks to influence the police, the mafia should be put behind bars.
Jitendra Soni, who carries a reward of Rs 30,000 on his head, has been absconding since November 30 when his nightclub and other establishments were raided in connection with the honey-trap case.
The police claimed to have rescued 67 women and seven children during these raids. Many of his properties have been demolished. The action was taken days after Soni’s eveninger published stories about the infamous honey-trap case. Soni’s son Amit was arrested and remanded in police custody.
Suspended IMC engineer Harbhajan Singh, the complainant in the honey-trap case, had last week filed an FIR against Jitendra Soni under the Information Technology Act for publishing objectionable material against the former in different media.
In September this year, five women and a man were arrested from Indore and Bhopal for allegedly running a honey-trap and blackmailing racket.