Guwahati: Sleuths of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Directorate (VACD) on Thursday arrested a divisional forest officer (DFO) in Assam’s Dhubri district on graft charge.
The DFO of Dhubri Forest Division, Binod Kumar Payeng, had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 50 thousand from a sand mahaldar for allowing unhindered movement of vehicles from his sand mahal, within the jurisdiction of Dhubri Forest Division.
The DFO directed the individual to meet his subordinate officers to fix a monthly system of payment of bribes. Accordingly, the sand mahaldar met the subordinate officers in the office of the Dhubri Forest Division who further demanded a bribe of Rs 4 lakh.
Later, after consulting with the DFO, they reduced the bribe amount to Rs 2 lakh.
Unwilling to pay the bribe, the sand mahaldar approached the VACD to take necessary legal action in the matter.
“A trap was laid today by a team from the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Directorate in the office of the divisional forest officer, Dhubri. Ziaul Islam and Sahabaz Sultan @ Bittu, both forester grade-1 were caught red-handed at 11:35 am, immediately after they accepted Rs 15,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively, as part of the demanded bribe, in conspiracy with the DFO,” police said.
“The bribe money was recovered from their possession and has been seized accordingly, in the presence of independent witnesses,” they said.
“The DFO Binod Kumar Payeng was also apprehended for demanding a bribe from the complainant and accepting it through his subordinates in conspiracy with them,” they also said.
“Finding sufficient evidence against all the three public servants, they were arrested,” they added.
A case was registered in ACB Police Station vide ACB PS case No 72/2023 under section 120 (B) IPC, read with section 7(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.