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ACB nabs Rural Development Official for bribery in Bandipora

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Srinagar: The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has sprung into action following a complaint lodged by a resident of Block Arin, District Bandipora, against Abdul Rashid, a Graw Sewak (GRS) of the Rural Development Department.

“The complaint alleges that Rashid demanded a bribe of ₹6,000 for facilitating the geo-tagging of the plinth area of an under-construction house site, part of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) scheme,” said an ACB official.

“According to the complaint, the individual’s case under the PMAY-G scheme was sanctioned in 2023, with an initial installment of ₹50,000 received through their bank account from the Rural Development Department. After completing the plinth of the house, further installments were sought. However, during a recent visit to the Block Development Office (BDO) in Arin, officials indicated that geo-tagging was required for processing the case for the release of the second installment. It was during this process that Rashid allegedly demanded a bribe,” the official said.

“On April 21, 2024, Rashid purportedly visited the construction site and demanded ₹10,000 from the complainant. Eventually, the deal was settled at ₹6,000, with ₹2,500 to be paid on April 22, and the remaining amount upon receipt of the second installment,” he said.

The official further said: “With these accusations, the complainant sought legal recourse from the ACB, citing a violation of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988. Consequently, Case FIR No. 05/2024 was registered at the Police Station, Anti-Corruption Bureau, Baramulla, under section 7 of the P.C Act 1988 (along with its amendment Act 2018), prompting an immediate investigation.”

“A trap team was assembled as part of the investigation, which successfully apprehended Rashid red-handed while demanding and accepting a bribe of ₹2,500 from the complainant. Following due legal process, Rashid was taken into custody, and the bribe money was recovered from his possession in the presence of independent witnesses,” he added.

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