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Panchayat secy held in J&K while accepting Rs 50K bribe

Srinagar, Oct 13 (IANS) The Jammu and Kashmir Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday arrested a panchayat secretary in Poonch district while accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000.

According to a statement issued by the ACB, "A complaint was received against Mohd Sharief, a resident of Draba Khatana village in Poonch district who is presently posted as secretary (rural development department) in the Draba Khatana panchayat, alleging that the accused is demanding a bribe of Rs 5,000 per file for the release of the first instalment of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) from the beneficiaries of the said scheme, who are homeless poor villagers."

The complainant happened to be the sarpanch of the said panchayat.

"The said complainant was told by the accused to collect Rs 5,000 per file as his commission/bribe for the release of the payment from the beneficiaries.

"Based on the facts disclosed in the complaint, which prima facie constituted an offence, a verification was conducted and it was found that there were 10 beneficiaries whose payments were blocked by the said accused for want of bribe to the tune of Rs 5,000 per file, amounting to Rs 50,000 in total.

"Accordingly, an FIR was registered with the ACB on October 12 against the accused person. A trap team was constituted, and the accused person was caught red-handed on the spot while accepting the bribe of Rs 50,000. The accused has been placed under arrest in the case. Searches are being conducted at the official and residential premises of the accused."

Further investigation in the case is in progress.