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ACB arrests ARTO Kupwara, others for corrupt practices

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Srinagar: Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Monday arrested ARTO Kupwara besides Motor Vehicle Inspectors and others for corrupt practices in ARTO office Kupwara.

A spokesman of the Bureau, in a statement said that a surprise check was conducted by ACB into the allegation that ARTO Kupwara has illegally planted one person namely Bilal Ahmad Sheikh of Vilgam Kupwara to run all the affairs of his office like Driving Test, Replacement of Driving License, Fitness, Learning License, Audit Approval, Registration and Print Card for minting money by illegal means.

The surprise check was conducted at the site of the driving test (Nagri Kupwara) on 25-08-2021 in association with Executive Magistrate 1st Class Handwara, the statement added.

It said that during a surprise check, the accused Bilal Ahmad Sheikh, son of Wali Mohammad Sheikh of Vilgam was found actively involved in conducting the driving tests with the officials of Assistant Regional Transport Office Kupwara.

“Search of his personal Car bearing registration number JK01R-4373 on spot at the site of driving test, led to the recovery of 138 original driving licenses besides various other incriminating material like provisional appointment slips for driving tests, application reference slips, application for addition of new class of vehicle, journey sheets of vehicles, transport plans, learners licence, etc,” it added.

Consequently, a case under FIR number 09/2021 was registered in P/S ACB Baramulla under section 7(c) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 & section 120-B of Indian Penal Code against the members of Driving Testing Trial Board Kupwara and private Agent (Broker), the statement added.

“During investigation, ACB conducted searches of residential premises of Mukhtar Ahmad Sofi (ARTO Kupwara) at Nowshera Boniyar Baramulla and residential premises of Bilal Ahmad Sheikh (Broker) at Vilgam Kupwara on 01-09-2021. During searches, cash of Rs 15,03,000 and Rs 1,35,500 was recovered from the houses of Broker and ARTO respectively, besides various incriminating material,” the statement said.

The ACB said that investigation revealed that there is a complete nexus among accused officers of the Transport Department and the private Agents (Brokers) to fleece the general public.

“To break this unholy nexus, accused Mohammad Mukhtar Sofi (Assistant Regional Transport Officer Kupwara), Khursheed Ahmad Kanna (Motor Vehicle Inspector), Abdul Hamid Bhat (Motor Vehicle Inspector) and Bilal Ahmad Sheikh (Broker) were arrested by Anti Corruption Bureau Baramulla for custodial interrogation.”

The statement added that further investigation of the case is going on.

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