Bhopal: A 21-year-old woman, who was sent to judicial custody for allegedly trying to blackmail Congress MLA Hemant Katare, has accused the legislator of sexually exploiting her and framing a "false" case against her in connivance with the police crime branch. An SIT has now been formed to probe the matter.
“I did not blackmail anyone. Instead, I was blackmailed by the MLA who had my pictures and video, and kept threatening me,” the woman said a day after being granted bail.
The matter came to light in January when the woman was apprehended by the crime branch while allegedly extorting Rs 5 lakh from the MLA. The police had said that the woman, who is a student of journalism, was threatening Katare to file a false rape case against him, and demanded Rs 2 crore.
A native of Uttar Pradesh, the woman held a press conference on Tuesday and said that she first met Katare in connection with students’ wing ‘Youth Mange Azadi’. “He then asked me to visit his gym later that evening. When I went there, he shot an objectionable video,” she alleged.
During her custody, the woman had also given a written complaint to the police in this regard, following which Katare was booked but is yet to be arrested.
The high profile case has kept the Madhya Pradesh police on toes, which have now formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the matter that has shaken the state politics. The SIT will have ASP Dharamveer Yadav, ASP (crime) Shraddha Joshi, two SPs and others will be recommended by DIG Bhopal Dharmendra Chaudhary.
The woman also alleged that the crime branch led by ASP Rashmi Mishra at the behest of Katare framed her in the blackmailing and extortion case.
The woman further said that the police officers “forced” her to shoot a video inside the crime branch that would serve as an evidence for Katare’s innocence.
“I don’t even know about the so-called extortion money of Rs 5 lakh. I did not even touch the bag. The officers made me shoot the video in the crime branch,” she alleged.
“ASP Mishra asked me not to speak about the exploitation case in front of the media,” she claimed, adding that one of the police officers also abused her.
On being asked about some audio tapes in which she is allegedly heard striking a deal with Katare, the woman said that she would first listen to them before commenting.
“I will present evidences against Katare in the court at an appropriate time,” the woman said. Earlier, student's mother had accused Katare of abducting her at gunpoint.