A sting operation is primarily a secret operation carried out by undercover agents to unveil criminal. Around the world sting operations are being conducted by the law enforcement agencies and media organization to apprehend criminals and wrongdoers. And here, India is no different. There have been many successful secret sting operations in India that have been carried out by different agencies over the years. Listed below are top 10 sensational cases of sting operation in India.
Just last year some aware villagers in the jurisdiction of Kshipra police station in Indore used their mobile phone to carry out a sting operation to expose police officers taking bribe. The villagers caught six cops on camera extorting money from the villagers. The incident shook all corners of the country and raised a question “if cops are involved in taking bribe, then who is going to stop corruption”.
A young Bihari girl, Soumya Pratheek along with social activists Rachel Morgan and Manish Swarnkar (all working for rescue and rehabilitation of women forced into prostitution) carried out a sting operation to expose a women trafficking nexus in Forbesganj in Araria district of Bihar. The sting showed on camera how girls were being forced into prostitution, which forced the police to act and rescue about a dozen girls and arrest some pimps and other involved in the nexus.
IT was probably the biggest shock to the Indian entertainment industry when India TV exposed actors Shakti Kapoor and Aman Verma allegedly involved in seeking sexual favors for struggling actors. India TV in a sting operation sent an undercover agent as struggler to the aforementioned, who were caught on tape seeking sexual favor from the reporter. This sting operation even marked the emergence of India TV in mainstream media.
Online magazine Tehelka with journalist Ashish Khaitan as the undercover agent carried out a sting operation titled ‘Operation Kalank’ in Gujarat, wherein they secretly recorded on camera confessions of various 2002 Gujarat riot accused along with three three Naroda Patiya massacre accused boasting of their misdeeds. The CD worked as evidence in court against the three accused in Naroda Patiya massacre.
CNN-IBN carried out an undercover sting operation in 2008 to expose the cash-for-votes scandal, in which the Sonia Gandhi led UPA allegedly bribed other party MPs to survive a confidence vote in Parliament. Cash for votes’ scandal really rocked the parliament and was made certain through a sting operation by CNN-IBN, which showed on tape Amar Singh aide giving money to a BJP MP. The BJP MPs waved money around the Parliament alleging that they were bribed by UPA to cast vote in their favor during the confidence vote on Indo-US nuclear deal.
Sanjeev Nanda, son of former Navy Chief Suresh Nanda was allegedly drunk when he drove his BMW through a police checkpoint on January 10, 1999 running over and killing six people, including three policemen. Sanjeev would have been left scot free if it wasn’t for a sting operation by NDTV which showed how Sanjeev’s lawyer R K Anand tried to persuade the prime witness to change his statement.
Following an FIR lodged by Congress MP and Jindal Steel Chairman Naveen Jindal and a sting operation done by the Jindal Group on Zee group’s editors, two senior Zee editors were arrested by Delhi Police for allegedly demanding Rs 100 crore to drop the news report accusing Jindal and his company for alleged involvement in the coal block allocation scam.
Sting operation by Tehelka magazine first and later by Star TV played a significant role in conviction of Manu Sharma in model Jessica Lall’s murder case. After Manu Sharma was set free when witnesses turned hostile, the aforemention agencies carried out a sting operation in 2006 to expose how witnesses were persuaded to speak in favor of Manu Sharma. The tapes played vital role in getting the case reopened, which finally led to Manu’s conviction.
One of the most infamous sting operations in the history of government of India is the “operation West End” carried out by Tehelka magazine in 2001. The operation was carried out to expose the deep rooted corruption in India’s Defence ministry. Many arms dealers and defense ministry officials were caught on tape accepting bribes. The expose led to the resignation of Defence minister George Fernandes from his post.
The online magazine CobraPost, over a period of several months, conducted a sting operation on three big banks – HDFC, ICICI and Axis alleging how these banks are involved in channeling huge amounts of black money into the banking system as laundered white money. Employees of these banks were caught on camera offering to convert black money into white money.