A District Forest officer was on Thursday arrested by ACB while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 5 lakh from the owner of a granite company here to allow him to start mining. K Ramana Murthy, District Forest Officer posted at S V N Nagar in the district, had demanded Rs 10 lakh from Palani Velu, the owner of SMP Granites, which has taken a granite quarry on lease at Kori village under Parvathipuram mandal, the Anti-Corruption Bureau said. Velu had got all necessary permissions and also no objection certificates from the Government to excavate granite from 6.86 hectares of land in the village for 20 years.
Watch What Else Is Making News
However, Murthy asked the company owner to pay Rs 10 lakh as a bribe to start excavation work. The DFO allegedly told Velu if he failed to grease his palm, he would notify the leased mining land as forest reserve, the anti-graft agency said.
Velu agreed to pay the amount in two equal installments to Murthy and at the same time lodged a complaint with the ACB.
A team led by DSP A Ramadevi of Vijayawada laid a trap and caught Murthy while he was accepting the first installment of Rs 5 lakh from Velu at his house here, the ACB said, adding the DFO was later placed under arrest. ACB sleuths later conducted a search operation at his home and office premises.