A Vigilance Bureau (VB) team allegedly caught red-handed,an assistant commissioner of police (ACP) accepting a bribe of Rs 25,000 from a Ludhiana-based scrap dealer. The team caught Ludhiana ACP (south) Baldev Singh Chauhan at his Sherpur Chowk office on Wednesday morning.
VB officials said Chauhan had demanded Rs 1 lakh a month as bribe from the dealer but the deal had allegedly been finalised for Rs 50,000. The ACP allegedly hired an agent,Pappu,to accept the money on his behalf,the first instalment of which he was to receive on Wednesday. The ACP and he agent have been arrested and a case has been lodged against them.
They were caught by a team led by SSP (vigilance) Satinder Singh. Wednesdays arrest comes in the backdrop of a series of arrests by the Vigilance Bureau.
In the first week of April,tehsildar (west) Arvinder Pal Singh was arrested for allegedly seeking a bribe and hiring an agent for the purpose. We are coming across a new trend of officers hiring private agents to accept money but that does not keep them out of the loop. In both the cases,we have booked the agents along with the officers, SSP Satinder Singh said. In Moga,district transport officer Gurtej Singh had been caught on bribery charges by the VB and he had allegedly used his driver and gunman to collect the money.
Commenting on the arrests,SSP Satinder said,This is a special drive launched by the government against corruption and we are sending a strong message to officers that they need to mend their ways or face punishment. In order to encourage general public to complain against corrupt officers,we are asking them to give us complaints over phone,through email and even hard copies as well. We will not disclose the identity of the person if he/she wants to keep it a secret. The SSP admitted that they have been getting plenty of complaints every day and added that action was being taken after the complaints are verified.
The anti-corruption drive by the state Vigilance Bureau has spread panic in the government machinery. On April 12,a rumour that a VB team was about to raid the sub-registrars office (central) in Ludhiana sent staff scurrying from their seats. They only returned after lunch when they were sure that it was just a rumour.