Extortionists targeting government officials with corruption claims are on the prowl after the Karnataka Lokayukta’s investigative powers were restored, police said as a man was booked for trying to “raid” a Chikkaballapur office by posing as a Lokayukta officer.
According to Chikkaballapur tehsildar Ganapathi Shasthri, a person claiming to be from the Lokayukta came to his office around 1.30pm on Friday and started checking files. When asked for his ID card, the man, who gave his name as Pranab, misbehaved with and assaulted officials before fleeing, Shasthri said in his police complaint.
The Chikkaballapur town police have registered a case under Indian Penal Code sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 170 (pretend to hold any particular office as public servant) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty).
In August second week, the Karnataka High Court dissolved police’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and revived the police unit within the Lokayukta, a quasi-judicial institution working independently of the government.
A police officer said some fraudsters were posing as officials of anti-corruption agencies. Several instances of extortionists claiming to be ACB officials were reported earlier, the officer added.
The fraudsters accuse government officers of corruption and irregularities and extort money in return for “settling the matter without leading to arrest”. Such gangs used to be rampant in Bengaluru earlier, but now they target government officials in taluks and districts, according to the officer.