SIC arrests Banderdewa DFO, RFO for seeking bribe

ITANAGAR, 7 Jun: Banderdewa DFO HB Abo and RFO Rilin Ngulom have been arrested by the Special Investigation Cell (SIC) for seeking bribe from a contractor.

As per the police, on 4 June, a written complaint was placed by one Nabam Akam against the DFO and the RFO. It was informed that Akam had won the tender for ‘construction of raising tall avenue plants (1.5 mtr) with bamboo guard at 5 mtr spacing’ under the CAMPA scheme in 2018-19 for an amount of Rs 7,00,000 in the name of M/s NR Enterprise.

While the work was successfully completed in 2020 and the DFO made a payment of 60 percent, the remaining 40 percent was kept pending.

Akam reportedly visited the office of the DFO in Banderdewa several times in connection with the payment of the second installment (40 percent).

On 24 April, he went to the DFO office and met RFO Ngulom, who reportedly demanded a bribe of 20 percent out of his total pending bill, saying that the Banderdewa DFO had strictly instructed to take 20 percent bribe from all the contractors. The RFO directed the complainant to deposit 20 percent bribe money and informed that his bill would otherwise not be processed and the DFO would not issue any cheque.

On 25 April, Akam visited the office of RFO Nuglom with his mobile phone in his shirt pocket and with the video record mode on, and recorded the transaction and discussion between them. Akam requested the RFO to reduce the 20 percent bribe but the RFO was adamant and demanded full deposit of the bribe. The RFO also told Akam that the 20 percent money taken from contractors would be divided among the DFO and other office staffers.

Under compulsion, Akam gave Rs 56,000 to the DFO through the RFO, and in the meantime, the RFO passed his bill and sent it to the office of the DFO for the final signing of the cheque amount.

On 29 April, Akam went to the office of the Banderdewa DFO to ascertain whether he had actually directed the RFO to collect 20 percent from the bills of the contractors, to which the DFO admitted.

The complainant recorded the conversation with the DFO, as well, with his mobile phone.

The DFO told the complainant that it is established practice to cut 20 percent of the bill amount, and that the same is distributed among all the officers.

One pen drive containing three video footages and voice recordings were enclosed with the complaint.

Accordingly, a case [SIC (VIG) PS under Section 120 (B) IPC r/w Section 7 of PC (Amendment) Act, 2018] was registered on 7 June.

The accused were taken to TRIHMS in Naharlagun for medical check-up, including Covid-19 test.

“Further investigation in this case is going on,” SIC SP Hemant Tiwari informed.