Action on 6 officials for trader extortion

Kaimur police are ready to initiate action against two excise department officials and six others for allegedly demanding extortion from some Punjab traders for letting them off under the new excise law.

By Ramashankar
  • Published 25.05.16
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Kaimur police are ready to initiate action against two excise department officials and six others for allegedly demanding extortion from some Punjab traders for letting them off under the new excise law.

Excise officials detained three traders hailing from Hoshiarpur district of Punjab on May 18 at the Karmanasha integrated checkpost in Kaimur district. They were allegedly caught travelling with two bottles of liquor - a non-bailable offence amounting to five-10 years' imprisonement under the new excise law brought by the government to implement prohibition. However, the excise officials - present at the spot with five special auxiliary police (SAP) jawans and an excise department driver - let the traders off after they paid Rs 50,000.

The incident happened when the traders were on their way to Calcutta from Punjab via National Highway 2.

The Karmanasha check-post in Kaimur district where the traders were caught. Picture by Sanjay Choudhary

One of the victims, Satnam Singh, a resident of Khurda village in Hoshiarpur district, complained to Kaimur superintendent of police Harpreet Kaur, demanding action against the erring officials.

In his written complaint, Singh said they were allowed to continue on their journey only after theypaid Rs 50,000 to sub-inspector Chandradeo Prasad Ankit and assistant sub-inspector Arun Kumar - the excise officials - who were deputed at the integrated check-post on the Bihar-Uttar Pradesh border to enforce prohibition.

Kaur, a 2009-batch IPS officer, conducted a preliminary inquiry in the case. Allegations levelled at excise officials Chandradeo and Arun, five jawans and the driver were found true. "An FIR has been lodged against the errant personnel and prima facie the allegations were found true," Kaur said. "Senior officials in the excise department have also been apprised of the legal action."

She ordered to lodge a case of intimidation and extortion against the public servants.

Later, Mohania sub-divisional police officer Manoj Ram was assigned the task to conduct a detailed probe. Sunil Kumar, the excise department driver, was arrested and forwarded to judicial custody.

SP Kaur has also recommended departmental proceedings against the officials and cancel the service contract of the SAP jawans.

The police have seized an SUV in which the excise department officials went around conducting surprise checks on the national highway.

"This is perhaps the first instance when legal action has been initiated against excise department officials after the state came under prohibition," a senior IPS officer said, expressing concern with law enforcers turning into law violators in dry Bihar.