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Transport officials held for extorting trucker

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

The accused have been identified as enforcement inspector Bapan Kalita, his assistant Rajen Baishya, checker Sanjeev Talukdar, another employee Maqshed Ali and driver Raju Choudhury

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, April 23: In an embarrassment to the State transport department, five employees, including an enforcement inspector and his assistant, were today arrested by the Vigilance and Anti Corruption department on charges of illegally taking money from a trucker.

However, the five accused were released as they had already obtained an interim bail from the Gauhati High Court, SP (vigilance and anti corruption) Shyamal Prasad Saikia said. The accused have been identified as enforcement inspector Bapan Kalita, his assistant Rajen Baishya, checker Sanjeev Talukdar, another employee Maqshed Ali and driver Raju Choudhury.

According to the charges, the enforcement personnel extorted money from a truck through Raju Choudhury, the SP said.

The incident took place on April 2 last.

That a section of police and transport officials have been taking money from commercial vehicles is known to all. However, most of them go scott free, due to lack of vigilance and pro-activeness on the part of the victims.

On April 2, the accused enforcement personnel allegedly demanded money from a truck carrying betel leaf at North Guwahati. Later, the owner of the truck filed a case with the Vigilance and Anti Corruption department against the personnel.

The accused enforcement inspector Bapan Kalita admitted taking money (Rs 7,500), but said it was part of a fine imposed on the truck.

“We have issued government receipts to the driver. We also have the seizure list with us,” Kalita claimed.

The accused were interrogated by the vigilance officials today.

Senior officials in the city admitted that they have reports that some police and transport officials were harassing truckers, especially on the highway (bypass), demanding money from them illegally.

“Sometimes, the truckers too are at fault, as they do not possess the requisite documents. But in some cases, even if they have all the documents, the drivers tend to pay some money so that their route is hassle-free,” said an administration official.

Several police officials, especially those posted in police stations like Basistha, are alleged to have amassed uccounted wealth from such illegal “collections”.

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