Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bolangir: A Village Agricultural Worker (VAW) of Puintala block of Bolangir district was suspended by the collector after a video purportedly showing the VAW demanding bribe went viral. The news was first telecast on OTV this morning.

Making a mockery of Odisha government’s 5T policy, the accused VAW of Puintala, Subhendu Kumar Behera was seen asking for bribe to include a farmer in the beneficiary list of flood relief and rehabilitation programme undertaken by the State government.

Subhendu had reportedly opened an office at his residence to assess the damages caused by flood in Puintala and was targeting vulnerable farmers.

As shown in the viral video, the rate of bribe ranged from Rs 200 to Rs 500 to avail flood relief compensation. When asked, Subhendu denied any corruption in enlisting the beneficiaries and said, “I shouldn’t have called him to my residence. But the rates I quoted, was a light-hearted joke.”

After the news was telecast on OTV today, the district collector took cognizance of the report and immediately suspended the accused official.