Senior Maharashtra police officer suspended after sex scam

April 9th, 2008 - 10:46 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, April 9 (IANS) Deepak Pandey, superintendent of police of Akola in Maharashtra, has been suspended after two girls alleged that he had forced them into a sex racket. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil, who holds the home portfolio, made the announcement in the state assembly Wednesday.

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.

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.

This is the second time Pandey has been suspended.

Earlier in 2004, he was suspended for allegedly assaulting and torturing his wife Nidhi, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer with the Maharasthra government.

Pandey was in the news last week for allegedly attempting to kill Nidhi, who is at present serving as collector of Sindhudurg district in the coastal Konkan region.

The couple has been estranged and Nidhi has complained of mental and physical torture by her husband.

Patil also announced an inquiry against the Mumbai police’s “encounter specialist” Pradeep Sharma by an additional commissioner of police.

He was responding to allegations made by opposition leader Ramdas Kadam that Sharma had underworld connections and had amassed wealth to the tune of Rs.50 billion.

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