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ACB arrests RO Kuhihama Forest Div for accepting bribe

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SRINAGAR: The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Thursday arrested a Range Officer (RO) of Kuhihama Forest Division in Bandipora red handed while demanding and receiving a bribe of Rs 10,000 to process a complainant’s bill.
The ACB received a written complaint from a complainant against Mushtaq Ahmad Sofi, Range Officer, Kuhihama, Bandipora, alleging that the officer concerned was demanding a bribe as commission of Rs 10,000 to process his Bill for release of dues, a spokesperson said in a statement.
“The complainant further alleged that he is a contractor and had completed the allotted work for an amount of Rs 3,21,000 and after completing the work the Forest Department had already released two bills in his favour,” the statement said.
“However, the final bill to the tune of about Rs 1 lakh 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 aforesaid 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 under Section 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 under a DySP rank officer. The team laid a successful trap and caught the accused public servant, namely Mushtaq Ahmad Sofi, son of Late Assadullah Sofi, resident of 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 spokesman said that after taking appropriate action as per the law, the accused was immediately taken into custody and searches were conducted at his residence, adding further the investigation of the case is going on.

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