Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Nayagarh district Collector Rabindra Nath Sahu and three other persons have been booked by Chandpur police for allegedly seeking bribe of Rs 25 lakh from a laterite stone mine lease holder under Ranpur Tehsil.

The other three persons, who have been booked, have been identified as Dillip Kumar Samantaray from Bajrakote, Deepak Kumar Routray from Ostapada village and Ganeswar Mandhata from Champagada village.

As per police sources, they have been booked based on a directive from Orissa High Court.

As per the allegation by the laterite stone mine lease holder, Sushant Kumar Barad, Collector Sahu along with the three others and some other people had visited Mayurjhalia laterite stone mine area on January 26, 2023 and asked for bribe to the tune of Rs 25 lakh.

Following the development, Barad lodged complaints with Chandpur police and Nayagarh SP. However, no action was taken and subsequently, he moved Orissa High Court for justice.

As per Chandpur IIC Mukesh Behera, a case has been registered against Collector Sahu and three others as per the directive of the High Court.

“An investigation into the allegation is currently underway. More information about the incident could be divulged following the completion of the probe,” said Behera.

However, Collector Sahu refuted the allegations against him. “NGT has slapped a fine of Rs 2.81 crore on the mining lease holder following a survey. Section 144 has also been clamped in the mining area. The allegation has been brought to divert the attention from those incidents. I have not gone to the spot on January 26, as I was busy on various programmes on Republic Day. I have not yet seen the place,” said Sahu.

  • Reported by:
  • Alok Moharana