12 officials arrested in Delhi for graft (Lead)

October 6th, 2008 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of Delhi Monday arrested 12 officials of the Delhi government, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Delhi Police on charges of corruption after it conducted a month-long sting operation.ACB sleuths jumped into action after Shiv Kumar Tiwari, who sells eatery items and flowers in Connaught Place, complained last month that many officials of NDMC, labour department and police collect bribes on a monthly basis from him as ‘protection money’.

“If I refuse to pay the protection money to them, they harass me by confiscating goods. They took money from me by threatening to frame me in a false case of fraud, adultery or any such thing,” Tiwari told IANS.

“I earn Rs.45,000-50,000 a month but also end up paying most of it to these corrupt officials. I had complained to higher authorities before approaching the ACB,” he added.

Additional Commissioner of Police (ACB) N. Dilip Kumar said the matter was taken up seeing the seriousness of the complaint and investigations were launched.

“Tiwari told us that such collections are being made from all shopkeepers in that area either directly or through agents. Two such agents were Chandeshwar Prasad Yadav and his brother Shakal Prasad Yadav, both paan shop owners,” Kumar told reporters.

The monthly collection from each shop owner varied between Rs.500 and Rs.30,000. The official said money was collected from hundreds of shops.

“We recorded the linkages between some of these officials and the roles of the paan shop owners. Similarly, video recordings of shopkeepers were also made that showed the illegal system prevailing in that area,” Kumar said.

“After finding enough evidence against the corrupt officials, we arrested 12 officials and both the Yadav brothers for corruption and extortion,” he added. Two people, including a Delhi Police constable, were absconding.

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