The rampancy of corruption in Rajasthan could be gauged from the fact when chief minister Ashok Gehlot was speaking at the Collector Conference on the need to take strict action against corruption, an SDM who was attending the meeting was seeking bribes on the phone.
Two SDMs and an associate of the former SP of Rajasthan’s Dausa district were caught red-handed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau on Thursday while taking bribes. Mobiles phones of the officers and the former SP were confiscated by the ACB officials.
Interestingly, the SDM had apparently received a phone call where she sked a bribe worth Rs 10 lakhs from a construction company. She was in a conference where chief minister Ashok Gehlot was speaking against corruption. In the meeting, the Rajasthan government had decided to establish a special cell under the personnel department to keep a tab on corrupt and negligent officials in government departments.
In the video conference with district collectors, the CM emphasised that providing transparent, accountable and good governance is his government’s priority. He also announced that a cell will be formed to look into complaints of indiscipline and corruption against government officials and those who are found guilty will be severely punished.
Two SDMs and a former SP caught red-handed receiving bribes
The case pertains to a national highway project that is passing through the Dausa district of Rajasthan, where land acquisition is currently underway. Two SDMs from Dausa district, Pinky Meena and Pushkar Mittal were entrusted with the task of acquiring land for the construction of the highway. The company was embroiled in a lawsuit due to disputes over the land acquisition. The matter was presided over by SP Manish Agarwal but he was removed after allegations of corruption surfaced against him.
However, despite Agarwal’s removal, his tout Neeraj was allegedly pressurising the company to pay bribes for the acquisition. Apparently, Neeraj had sought Rs 30 lakh from the company. Neeraj is also arrested by the ACB.
Besides, Bandikui SDM Pinky Meena, while attending a meeting with the CM, had reportedly asked a company staffer to pay Rs 10 lakhs to the liaisoning officer. “Give the money to the liaising officer. I will collect the money from him after the meeting,” the SDM allegedly said.
Following the meeting, as the SDM was about to collect the money from the liaising officer, the ACB officials, already waiting in the lurk, caught her red-handed taking bribes.
Similarly, Pushkar Mittal, SDM of Dausa, had asked the company officials to send the money at his residence. The Anti Corruption Bureau team, already keeping an eye on the SDM, reached his residence as the company officials were paying money to the SDM and caught him red-handed.
According to the ACB officials, spooked by the arrests of the SDMs, the IPS officer Manish Agarwal escaped to his hometown in Jaipur. A separate ACB team is sent to Jaipur where the officer will be interrogated with respect to the bribery case.