In a case of ‘fence eating the crop’, Rayagada Excise superintendent was on Saturday arrested after being caught with unaccounted cash of Rs 6 lakh in Khordha. A day earlier, an inspector of Sambalpur Vigilance division was caught red-handed while receiving a bribe of Rs 10 lakh.
These two incidents suggest that the Odisha government’s claim of zero tolerance against corruption is nothing but hollow. And, corruption in the State seems to be at its peak despite big promises.
If the data of vigilance raids carried out in the last 15 days is analysed, one thing would emerge that the cases of government officers/employees being involved in corruption are increasing.
In the last 15 days, as many as 10 government officers including a project director of the Water Irrigation Department, an additional tehsildar, a police ASI, a livestock inspector and a Gram Rojgar Sevak (GRS) were caught either for receiving bribe or amassing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
The increasing cases of government officers coming under vigilance scanner has become a cause of concern for the government. “Odisha Vigilance is strongly committed to taking severe action against corrupt practices of both other departments and our own. Internal Vigilance unit has been activated to keep a watch on vigilance officials,” said Vigilance Director, Yeshwant Jethwa.
Rayagada Excise superintendent Nina Beura was arrested on Saturday, a day after being caught with unaccounted cash of Rs 6 lakh in a car near Khordha. Her husband, Nihar Ranjan Das, who is the IIC of Mahanga police station, has been directed to appear before the Vigilance officer as he was found missing from his residence during raids.
In the second incident, inspector of Sambalpur Vigilance division, Manasi Jena was on Friday caught red-handed while receiving bribe of Rs 10 lakh from a person to close a case against a government official. The person was identified as Mukesh Sahoo. The anti-corruption wing later carried out simultaneous raids at multiple locations in connection with Manasi Jena and Mukesh Sahoo.
“Manasi Jena was arrested for accepting a bribe of Rs 10 lakh through her associates. Both were arrested,” M Radhakrishnan Vigilance SP later informed.