Odisha Vigilance sleuths arrest husband-wife duo on graft charges

Berhampur: A Panchayat Extension Officer (PEO) and her husband were apprehended by Vigilance sleuths while accepting a bribe from a widowed woman at their residence in Odisha’s Ganjam district to facilitate financial assistance under a government scheme.

As per Vigilance sources, Suchitra Kumari Patra (PEO), Gudipadar Gram Panchayat under Digapahandi Tehsil in Ganjam district and her husband Birendra Patra were caught red-handed by the officers of Vigilance, Berhampur Division while accepting a bribe of Rs 5, 000 from complainant A Parbati to submit favourable enquiry for financial assistance under Jatiya Pariwar Mangal Yojana.

Notably, the complainant A Parbati from Balarampur in the district and of R Haramma had been making the rounds of the block office after submitting applications to the BDO, Patrapur.

After several futile attempts, the distraught women approached Suchitra to expedite the process and send the documents to the BDO. However, Patra allegedly demanded Rs 6, 000 each from the duo to move the papers in their favour. Later, the deal was settled at Rs 5000.

Following this, Parbati filed a complaint with SP, Vigilance in Bhubaneswar.

A trap was laid and the duo was arrested this morning and later forwarded to court. Besides, the bribe money was also recovered from them.

Notably, Suchitra had asked them to handover the money to her husband.

Hand and pocket wash of Birendra Patra confirmed acceptance of bribe.

A case under section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 has been registered.

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