Maharashtra’s tainted police officer suspended

April 10th, 2008 - 12:45 am ICT by admin  

(Lead)

Mumbai, April 9 (IANS) The Maharashtra government Wednesday suspended Akola district superintendent of Police Deepak Pandey in connection with a sex racket in the western Vidarbha city allegedly run under his patronage. Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil, who holds the home portfolio, made the announcement in the state assembly.

Patil said Pandey has been suspended to enable a smooth inquiry by the state Crime Investigation Department (CID) into the sex scandal. “Some CID officers had expressed apprehensions that witnesses would be scared to come forward and depose in the matter,” he said.

The Akola sex racket, in which a college girl had charged a number of senior government officers, including policemen, with sexually exploiting her, is already under a state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probe.

An 18-year-old college student from Akola had alleged that Pandey had forced her to provide sexual favours to him and many businessmen and politicians from the region in northeastern Maharashtra.

Later, she withdrew her accusation, allegedly under pressure from Pandey. The victim again levelled the same charges and also named another girl who was, according to her, similarly exploited by Pandey and his associates.

Six police personnel including an inspector have already been dismissed after the sex racket broke out in February while a former deputy municipal commissioner is in police custody and a ‘wanted’ police prosecutor has been declared absconding.

Apart from aiding and abetting the sex racket, Pandey has been accused of blackmailing rich people by staging raids in connivance with its operator.

This is the second suspension of the controversial IPS officer who was earlier placed under suspension after his wife, Sindhudurg collector Nidhi Pandey, complained he had beat her in full public view.

On Tuesday, Nidhi Pandey, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer whose divorce petition against her husband is pending in a court, had alleged that Deepak Pandey had sent some people to physically obstruct her from filing a complaint against him in Mantralaya.

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