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Bike-happy cop gulps bribe bait

A police officer was arrested on Wednesday for accepting Rs 1 lakh as bribe to buy a motorcycle, promising to help a person in a case. A middleman employed by the cop to strike the deal was also nabbed.

The police officer, Mahakant Singh, had allegedly demanded a Royal Enfield bike as bribe from Vinod Kumar Sah to help him in a case lodged with the Khutauna police station in Madhubani district, around 210km northeast of Patna.

Singh, the station house officer of Khutauna police station, had allegedly exerted pressure on Sah to offer him a brand new motorcycle against the favour.

“Initially, he had demanded Rs 4 lakh as bribe. But the deal was finally struck at Rs 1 lakh,” the complainant told the vigilance bureau officials, who laid a trap to nab the police officer red-handed from his office.

An investigating officer said Singh used to extort money through a middleman Mintu Sahjada, who too was taken into custody.

The raiding team headed by deputy superintendent of police (vigilance bureau) Maharaja Kanishka Kumar Singh recovered the bribe money also.

Superintendent of police (vigilance bureau) Parvez Akhtar said a complaint was lodged against the 2009-batch sub-inspector of police for demanding bribe. During preliminary inquiry, the allegation against him was found to be true.

Subsequently, a trap team headed by Maharaja was assigned the job. After applying invisible powder on the currency notes, the team handed them over to Sah.

Singh, the police officer, was caught while accepting the bribe. When his hands were submerged in water, they turned red (because of a chemical reaction caused by the powder). Both the police officer and his aide were arrested thereafter.

Parvez said most of the government employees caught on the graft charge were employing a new modus operandi to seek bribe. Instead of taking favour directly, they are hiring middlemen to collect the bribe on their behalf. The ploy, however, would help them little because Section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption Act deal with the middlemen, he added.

According to the official figures available at the vigilance bureau office in Patna, total 569 trap cases had been lodged since 2006. As many as 573 people, mostly government employees, were arrested.