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Pappu prize for sting on corruption

Patna, July 30: Controversial RJD MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav has devised a novel way to tame corruption at government offices in Kosi.

Pappu, whom Patna High Court acquitted last year in former Purnea MLA Ajit Sarkar’s murder case, has announced a reward of Rs 10,000 for those who conduct sting operations exposing public servants who demand bribe.

The Madhepura MP made the announcement at a party workers’ meet when his supporters complained that bureaucrats were demanding bribes. “Conduct a sting operation against the government employee concerned and collect Rs 10,000 reward from me,” he told them.

Shakeel Ahmed, Saharsa district president of Pappu’s newly floated political outfit, Yuva Shakti, claimed the MP’s announcement had created fear among lower rank employees who often ask for bribe. “MP saheb ko kuch sting operations ka video clips mila hai (The MP has already received video clips of some sting operations),” he said. Those who carried out the sting would be rewarded soon, sources said.

Ahmed said the MP has assured suitable action against the employees concerned. “Yuva Shakti activists are cautious. The matter would be discussed at a meeting in Patna next week,” he said over phone on Wednesday.

Majority of graft-related complaints had to do with issuance of caste certificates, mutation of land, Indira Awaas Yojana, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and other welfare projects. Some residents complained that huge bribes were being sought for appointment letters to contractual teachers, Ahmed said.

The announcement has come at a time when a government drive against corruption has slowed down. The economic offences unit, set up in 2011, has not conducted any operation in past two months.

Similarly, the special vigilance unit, established by former chief minister Nitish Kumar, has not conducted any raid in the recent past.

The third and more effect anti-corruption cell — special vigilance bureau — arrested 23 government employees for corruption this year. Director-general of police Pramod Kumar Thakur reiterated that the drive against corruption would continue. Asked about the drive slowing down in the recent past, Thakur said: “Our focus in corruption cases is to submit chargesheets at the earliest so that the accused can be prosecuted. Getting the accused convicted by a court of law is equally important for the agencies assigned to fight corruption.”

The government had earlier initiated steps to punish offenders by concluding departmental proceedings against tainted employees within a timeframe. Former chief secretary A.K. Sinha had even set a deadline for getting around 300 government employees facing corruption charges dismissed from service within three months. But Sinha’s directive to all department heads was junked. “The government’s priority has changed with the change of guard,” said a senior bureaucrat earliest tasked with conducting special operations against while-collar crime.


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