Assistant Commissioner demanded Rs 4L bribe, claims activist

An RTI activist and businessman has accused the assistant commissioner of Chitradurga of demanding Rs four lakh as bribe on the “false charge of violation of the Land Reforms Act.”

Speaking to reporters here on Friday, Rajashekhar, the activist, released to the media, what he claimed was the recording of his conversation with the assistant commissioner and a slip purportedly given by the latter, mentioning the bribe amount.

Rajashekhar said he and his friends had purchased 30 acres of land in Holalkere of Chitradurga taluk on October 15, 2015, for the purpose of establishing an industry.

“Two days later, I received a notice from the AC, N Thippeswamy, charging me with violation of the Land Reforms Act. When I met him at the office, initially, he asked me to produce 11 documents, and then demanded Rs 10 lakh. Later, Thippeswamy took me to his house and said that Chitradurga district in-charge Minister H Anjaneya has to be given a share in the bribe money.”

He said that after negotiation, the bribe money was brought down to Rs four lakh. Rajashekhar said he had lodged a complaint with the Lokayukta in Bengaluru and a team of Lokayukta officials visited Chitradurga on October 29. Thippeswamy got wind of the visit and did not attend the office, Rajashekhar claimed.

AC, minister clarify

When contacted, Thippeswamy said the allegations were false and that the handwriting in the slip was not his. He said that the matter referred to by Rajashekhar had been disposed of in October itself. He said he had recieved a notice from the office of the Lokayukta, Bengaluru, on February 17 and since it was election time (taluk, zilla panchayat polls), he had sought time to appear before the authorities. He said he would appear at the Lokayukta office in the first week of March.

Refuting the allegations, district in-charge Minister Anjaneya said he was not related to the incident in any way and that he was not in contact with any official. “An inquiry will be conducted and if the official is found guilty, disciplinary action will be initiated against him,” the minister said.

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