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CBI swoop on own official

New Delhi/Hyderabad, Dec. 6: The CBI today wielded the whip on its own flock, arresting a deputy inspector-general from Visakhapatnam for demanding Rs 10 lakh from an insurance officer to bail him out in a case.

Two assistant public prosecutors were taken into custody for working as his conduit and accepting a bribe of Rs 2 lakh.

A. Sudhakar Rao was held after the CBI laid a trap on receiving a complaint from two of his junior officers that he was asking for bribe from a senior United India Insurance official.

“Our two junior officers had passed information against him to the headquarters here and we ordered action against him after gathering all the evidence,” said CBI chief P.C. Sharma in Delhi. Rao had been under surveillance for some time.

Sharma, who retired today, applauded the arrest, saying: “We not only take action against corrupt officers outside, but against our men.”

CBI sources said one of the assistant public prosecutors, Durga Nageswari, had approached senior manager M.F. Shroff, under investigation in a CBI case, and almost threatened him to either pay up or end up behind bars. She had claimed that a woman known to Rao could settle his case if he paid the money.

A CBI press release said the trap was laid after Shroff tipped off the bureau about the demand for Rs 10 lakh to let him off in a criminal conspiracy between United Insurance and a contractor.

Early this morning, 15 CBI sleuths from Delhi, led by DIG Sudip Pratap Singh, raided the houses of Rao and the two other accused in Visakhapatnam. They seized Rs 7.5 lakh in cash, jewellery worth Rs 3 lakh and documents for Rs 2.5 lakh in fixed deposits, a house, three flats and three plots from the DIG’s house alone, the bureau said.

Rao was produced in court and remanded in CBI custody and then taken to Delhi. The tainted official, an IPS officer of the 1989 batch of the Sik- kim cadre, came to Visakhapatnam in 1996 on deputation to the CBI.

Rao, promoted as DIG last month, was repatriated to his parent cadre three days ago following complaints, mostly from contractors under investigation, of corruption.

Though he was to take his next posting in Sikkim, he had allegedly assured Shroff that he would settle his case before leaving for the next assignment, the CBI said.

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