Forest Ranger Officer Caught 'Red-handed Accepting Bribe' in Bandipora

Srinagar, Dec 28 (KNS): Anti-corruption Bureau on Thursday said that it arrested a Range Officer in Khuehama Forest Division in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district for demanding and accepting bribes in lieu of processing a bill.

The Anti Corruption Bureau in a statement said that it received a written complaint against Mushtaq Ahmad Sofi, Range officer, Kuhihama, Bandipora from a complainant alleging therein that concerned officer is demanding bribe as commission of ?10,000 for processing his Bill for release of due payments

It said that the complainant further alleged that he is contractor and  had completed the  allotted work for an amount of ?3,21,000 and that after completing the said work the forest department has already released two bills in his favour. 

"However, the final bill to the tune of about Rs. One lac is pending with the said department from last one and half month for which concerned Range Officer Mushtaq Ahmad Sofi put a demand of bribe as his commission  of ?15,000 for all three bills including already two released bills," it added.

It also said that the said amount after negotiations with accused Range officer, was settled on ?10,000 the complainant arranged ?10,000 and approached ACB with a complaint requesting  for legal action", reads the statement. 

"On receipt of complaint which prima facie disclosed the commission of offence punishable U/s 7 of the PC Act 1988 (as amended in 2018), accordingly case FIR No. 13/2023 was registered at  PS ACB Baramulla and investigation was  taken up", it added.

"During the course of investigation, a trap team was constituted headed by DySP rank officer. The team laid a successful trap and caught accused public servant namely  Mushtaq Ahmad Sofi S/o Late Assadullah Sofi R/o Onagam, Bandipora posted as Range Officer, Kuhihama forest range, Bandipora while demanding and accepting the bribe money of ?10,000. The bribe amount was recovered from the possession of the accused in the presence of independent witnesses," it added.

The accused was immediately  taken into custody after following due process as laid down under law and searches at his residence were conducted. Further investigation of the case is going on.(KNS)

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