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ACB arrests Range Officer in north Kashmir for accepting bribe

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Srinagar: Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Thursday caught a Range officer at Kuhihama forest Division Bandipora, red handed while demanding and accepting bribe of Rs 10,000 for processing bill of the complainant.

A spokesman of the anti-graft body in a statement issued here said that the ACB 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 Rs 10,000 for processing his Bill for release of due payments.

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

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 Rs 15,000 for all three bills including already two released bills, the statement said.

“The said amount after negotiations with accused Range officer, was settled on Rs 10,000 the complainant arranged Rs 10,000 and approached ACB with complaint requesting  for legal action.”

“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,” the spokesman said.

“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 Rs 10,000. The bribe amount was recovered from the possession of accused in presence of independent witnesses,” the statement said.

“The accused was immediately taken into custody after following due process as laid down under law and searches at his residence were conducted,” the spokesman said, adding that further investigation of the case is going on.

KV News

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