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Forest Ranger held for taking bribe

By Correspondent

DHEMAJI, June 19 - Sleuths of Vigilance & Anti-corruption Bureau led by Superintendent of Police Sumeet Sharma on Thursday arrested Jonai Forest Ranger Fakrul Islam for �demanding and taking bribe� from a local timber trader against releasing his seized timber.

The team from Vigilance & Anti-corruption Bureau caught the Ranger red-handed along National Highway-15 at Kanibeel near Dhemaji town, while he was taking a bribe of Rs 60,000 in cash from a local trader.

It is said that the bribe was taken against releasing a truck full of illegal timber seized by the foresters at Jonai under Dhemaji Forest Division (Territorial) during February this year.

According to information, officials received a complaint from Jonai timber trader Sandeep Das on June 10. He alleged that the Forest Ranger had demanded him Rs 60,000 for releasing the truck full of seized timber. Later, the trader made a plan to cage the Ranger and paid the ransom in presence of the vigilance officer.

Sandeep Das, who is a controversial timber trader of Jonai in Dhemaji district, admitted before the media that he had earlier paid Rs 1.65 lakh to Ranger Islam as bribe, who gave him the word to allow him to carry on the illicit trade of forest wealth in the district.

He further said that the Ranger asked him to pay the amount for incumbent Divisional Forest Officer (T) of Dhemaji Sofikul Rahman.

The vigilance team also conducted raids at Jonai Forest Range office and ranger Islam�s official residence at Jonai today. But, they are yet to disclose their findings.

It may be recalled here that a team of Vigilance & Anti-corruption Bureau had arrested former Dhemaji DFO (T) Mahat Talukdar from his official residence and recovered a huge amount of cash that was collected as bribe from local traders.

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