- Cost of erecting the wall: Rs 8,000.
- Conservancy supervisor cost to oversee demolition of the wall: Rs 80,000
Bikramaditya Sinha, solid waste management supervisor of Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC), was caught red-handed late on Tuesday with Rs 25,000 — first instalment of the bribe he had demanded from Joykrishna Pathak, a resident of Beleghata, for overseeing the demolition of a wall on his premises.
Plainclothed sleuths arrested Sinha on the staircase of the Esplanade Metro Railway station. He has been remanded in police custody for two days.
Soumen Mitra, deputy commissioner, detective department, said on Wednesday his officers had swung into action after receiving a complaint from Pathak. “The Beleghata resident had approached the CMC to demolish the wall erected in a common passage on 52, Harmohan Ghosh Lane. The mayor-in-council gave him the go-ahead,” said Mitra.
Armed with the CMC clearance certificate, Pathak approached Sinha, one of the officials overseeing demolition work. “But Sinha demanded money to supervise the demolition and ensure that the debris was cleared from the site. He said the money was required to pay off CMC engineers for the job,” added Mitra.
Realising that he was falling victim to ‘official’ extortion, Pathak went to the Lalbazar police headquarters and lodged a complaint with the detective department.
“After registering the complaint, we told Pathak to carry on interacting with the demolition deal as if he was ready to pay the bribe,” said Mitra, “And Sinha swiftly settled for Rs 25,000 as the first instalment of the bribe-package.”
Initially, Sinha had fixed a restaurant close to the CMC headquarters as the rendezvous spot. Later, he shifted the venue to the Esplanade Metro station.
“Our officers laid a trap, posing as Metro commuters. Around 9.30 pm on Tuesday, Pathak turned up, with the cash. Ten minutes later, Sinha arrived at the designated spot, on the staircase. As Pathak took out the money to pay Sinha, two of the officers started climbing down the stairs towards the duo,” said Mitra. The sleuths surrounded Sinha as soon as he took the money from Pathak. “He was caught red-handed and had no room to escape,” said an officer on the case.
“According to the plan, the officers had used a particular chemical on the currency notes, so that we could get the fingerprints easily,” he added.
Police have learnt that Sinha owns a hotel in Digha. A number of documents have been seized from his possession and the police are verifying his bank accounts and real-estate holdings. “We will study all the financial transactions in the civic body that Sinha was involved in,” said Mitra.