Assam: Golaghat Agriculture Officer To Be Interrogated On "Corruption Charges"
MLA Mrinal Saikia was consulted by the investigating officer prior to beginning the investigation to get his perspective on the situation and the allegations.
GUWAHATI: The video of Khumtai MLA Mrinal Saikia reprimanding Haren Saikia, an agriculture officer in Sensowa circle in Khumtai, for accepting a bribe from farmers, surfaced on social media and in the news, prompting the Assam agriculture department to immediately launch an investigation into the scam in the Golaghat district agriculture department.
On December 16, Additional Secretary of the Agriculture Department Tejprasad Bhosal arrived in Golaghat, one day after Agriculture Minister Atul Bora initiated an investigation based on a complaint by Mrinal Saikia.
MLA Mrinal Saikia was consulted by the investigating officer prior to beginning the investigation to get his perspective on the situation and the allegations. Saikia and the officer met behind closed doors as the officer gathered the required paperwork. Notably, Haren Saikia has already been the subject of numerous corruption complaints to the investigating officer.
Tejprasad Bhosal told reporters that he will begin an investigation on December 17 at the Golaghat district agriculture office. They will also be investigated and questioned about the situation, along with District Agriculture Officer Ranjit Sharma, AGMARK Sub-Divisional Agriculture Officer Ranjan Baruah, and Horticulture Department Nodal Officer Mridul Sharma.
A bribe was previously paid to agriculture official Haren Saikia on December 13 in retaliation for accepting kickbacks from farmers in order to express his disgust with the corruption of officers.
The BJP MLA was seen berating the agriculture official in a video posted on social media for holding up a teacher's paperwork. The officer, however, refuted all accusations and insisted that he was doing an adequate job of doing his duties.
Speaking to reporters, Mrinal Saikia claimed that he had given the money to the officer in order to discipline him and serve as an illustration of how dishonourable it is to accept bribes from others.
He claimed that farmers have been complaining to him frequently about dishonest activities occurring in the agriculture department's office space.
"The instructor came to me and told me that he needed the agriculture officer's signature to finish his paperwork for the PM Kisan Scheme, but the officer kept demanding money from him and wouldn't sign," Mrinal Saikia said.
"I propose that the government determine whether the official work can be done without these persons. We wouldn't need such unscrupulous individuals in the department if office tasks were completed properly," Added Saikia.