Police too under scrutiny after India's first female detective nabbed
(4 months ago)
Thane (Maharashtra), Feb 6 : Barely a week after the arrest of Rajani Pandit, famed as India's first private woman detective, the Thane Crime Branch is now investigating the role of some policemen suspected to be involved in a blackmail or extortion racket along with her, a top official said here.
"We are probing this matter from all possible angles. We are trying to ascertain the role of even some policemen in the case," Police Commissioner Parambir Singh said here.
He added that the investigations will span across other states in the country with suspicions of blackmail and extortion of politicians, businessmen, industrialists and even film and glamour personalities.
Pandit, 55, currently in police custody, was arrested along with six other private detectives last Thursday after a police investigation into a Call Details Record (CDR) scam with the records being allegedly sold illegally between Rs 25,000-Rs 50,00 depending on the type of clients.
Last weekend, the Thane Crime Branch sleuths raided Pandit's home in Mumbai's Dadar and seized her laptops and over a 1,000 CDs containing videos, diaries and CDRs, besides other things.
Among other charges, Pandit and other accused have been booked for acquiring the CDRs, telephonic conversations records and other valuable information illegally for selling to clients, with the racket reportedly flourishing undetected since nearly five years now.
The investigators now suspect this sensitive information may also have been used for blackmailing or extortion purposes and are now focusing on the people she was in contact with, besides unscrupulous employees of some mobile service provider companies besides scanning the phone details of all the arrested accused.
Incidentally, Pandit's name cropped up during the interrogation of four other private detectives arrested last week - Makesh Pandiyan, Pratik Mohpal, Prashant Palekar, Jigar Makwana, all nabbed from Thane and two others later, Prashant Sonawane and Santosh Pandagle, both from Navi Mumbai.
On her official website, Pandit claims to have cracked 75,000 cases in India and abroad spanning surveillance, personal, matrimonial, human resources, business, corporate and other espionage matters since launching her detective agency in 1991 in Mahim, besides winning 57 awards.
Police officials said she is reputed to be a master of disguising herself as a blind woman, pregnant lady, a domestic help, streetside vendor, etc, as she attempted to solve different kinds of cases, ranging from divorce to murder for private clients.
The daughter of a former Mumbai Crime Branch official, Shantaram Pandit, she has penned two books - "Faces Behind Faces" and "Mayajaal", and was the subject of documentary film "Lady James Bond" made by writer-director Dinkar Rao.