LAKHIMPUR: A 12-member team of Vigilance and Ant-Corruption Bureau, Assam arrested Lakhimpur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Jadab Chandra Nath and Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) Jesim Hazarika on Monday on charges of taking bribe.
Meanwhile, Police sources in Guwahati informed that a search operation is being carried out at the house of DFO JC Nath on Monday night. His house is located at Sarathi Path, Hengerabari in Guwahati. Details are awaited.
Earlier, the two Forest officers were caught red handed while they were taking a bribe of Rs 50,000 from the owner of a tractor. The owner is a resident of Sonapur-Gohain Doloni under the Laluk area of Lakhimpur district.
According to Police report, the tractor — laden with planks from a timber depot located at North Lakhimpur town — was seized by Naoboicha Police. The Police handed over the tractor to the Forest Department about six months ago.
During a probe into the matter, the DFO office found that the documents of the tractor as well as the seized items were valid. Even then, the Forest officers allegedly demanded Rs 1,85,000 to release the tractor. Later, the deal was reportedly fixed at Rs 50,000.
Regarding the issue, the tractor owner filed a complaint at the Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau, Assam on September 24. And as per the complaint, the Anti Corruption team launched an operation on Monday and caught the DFO and the ACF while taking the bribe of Rs. 50,000 at the Lakhimpur Divisional Forest Office.
Till the filing of this report, officers of the Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau were interrogating the DFO and the ACF along with another Forest official named Pranab Kumar Dutta (Forester Grade 1), who is allegedly involved in the bribe-demanding issue.
Notably, a number of organizations in Lakhimpur district had raised allegations of massive corruption against the DFO in the past few days. Lakhimpur District AASU general secretary Dhanmoni Dutta and Asomiya Yuva Mancha organizing secretary Anupom Saikia have demanded exemplary punishment to these corrupt Forest officers.
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