Factory run by Jigneh Soni's kin demolished

Factory run by Jigneh Soni's kin demolished

Authorities on Saturday demolished an alleged unauthorised industrial unit here, owned by relatives of Jitendra Soni, absconding owner of a newspaper which had published sensational reports about politicians and others targeted by a honey-trap racket.

In a related development, the reward for information about whereabouts of Soni, wanted in more than 30 cases including human trafficking, has been increased to Rs 1 lakh.

An electroplating factory, spread over more than 2,500 sq feet at Polo Ground Industrial Area, was razed, an official of the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) said.

The factory was run by Soni's brother Mahendra and nephew Jignesh Soni, and built without permissions of the IMC and in violation of the industries department's rules, he added.

Earlier, authorities had demolished the office from where Soni published his evening newspaper as well as two bungalows, a night club, a hotel and a restaurant belonging to him, stating that these structures were unauthorised.

Superintendent of Police Mohammad Yusuf Qureshi said the state government has hiked the reward for information about Soni's whereabouts from Rs 30,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

A reward of Rs 5,000 each has also been announced for information about Jitendra's brothers Mahendra and Hukum Soni, wanted in several cases including human trafficking.

A reward of Rs 5,000 has been announced for information about one Sonia, a close associate of Jitendra, in connection with a case of cheating.

Jitendra Soni is on the run since November 30 when his night club and other properties were raided and 67 women and seven children were `rescued'.

His newspaper had published scandalous stories about audio-video clips featuring politicians and bureaucrats who were allegedly honey-trapped by a gang.

Harbhajan Singh, a suspended IMC employee who is the complainant in the honey-trap case, had registered a complaint against Soni for publishing `objectionable material'.

In September, five women and a man were arrested from Indore and Bhopal for allegedly honey-trapping and then blackmailing several politicians and bureaucrats.