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Vigilance Bureau nabs forest guard taking bribe Rs 4.50 lakhs

Also recovers cash amounting to Rs 4.64 lakhs from car

House search of accused leads to recovery of Rs one lakh out of previous bribe Rs 5 lakhs

Chandigarh, March 31 (KNN)- The Punjab Vigilance Bureau today arrested a forest guard Ranjit Khan posted at Mirzapur, Sub-Tehsil Majri, S.A.S. Nagar district while accepting a bribe of Rs. 4,50,000 on behalf of block officer Baldev Singh.

Disclosing this here today, DGP-cum-Chief Director Vigilance Bureau B.K. Uppal said accused Baldev Singh block officer posted at Mirzapur has demanded a bribe of Rs 5,50,000 from the complainant Bhupal Kumar resident of Kharar for marking the wood with official hammer mark. He has already obtained Rs 5,00,000 as bribe from the complainant on 28/03/2021. This bribe was demanded for reducing the fine (damage report) for cutting some unmarked trees vis-a-vis for transporting the wood in open market.

        VB chief further informed that the complainant has a permit issued by the forest department to cut and sell Khair trees situated at village Mirzapur in Majri block. He has the permission till 31/3/2021 to remove the trees from the site. However, he was stopped from transporting the wood by the suspects reasoning that there’s a complaint against him regarding some irregularities in cutting of wrong unmarked trees.

        In addition, DGP VB said that the suspects had demanded Rs 2000 per tree from the complainant and has already taken Rs 5.00 lacs from them but now they are demanding the remaining bribe amount of Rs 3,20,000 in lieu of allowing them to transport the wood, reducing the fine from Rs 3,54,000 to 2,50,000 and issuing fine report in the name of the associate of the complainant.

                   BK Uppal highlighted that co-accused Ranjit Khan was arrested today from Omaxe Tower parking area while accepting Rs 4,50,000 as bribe from the complainant on behalf of his senior block officer Baldev Singh. During the search Rs 4,64,000 in cash was also recovered from the car of accused on the spot. Further investigation regarding the source of this amount is under process. Apart from this, Rs 1,00,000 has also been recovered from the residence of the accused Ranjit Khan during his house search. This is a part of bribe money Rs 5,00,000 taken by the accused earlier.

          Sharing more details, he added that accused Baldev Singh block officer is still absconding and efforts are on to apprehend him.  Furthermore, official hammer of block officer, Mirzapur is also recovered from the car of the accused Ranjit Khan. In this regard, a case has been registered u/s 7, prevention of corruption act and 120-B IPC at vigilance police station S.A.S. Nagar and further investigation is under progress.