Rajasthan IPS officer Manish Agarwal linked to extortion racket, arrested
- The IPS officer was allegedly involved in the extortion bid of a road construction contractor in connivance with other government officials.
Rajasthan anti-corruption bureau (ACB) on Tuesday arrested IPS officer Manish Agarwal, former Dausa superintendent of police, who has been accused of involvement in the Dausa bribery racket case.
“Agarwal has been arrested on charges of graft. A team of ACB is carrying out searches at Agarwal’s premises,” said Bhagwan Lal Soni, director general (DG), ACB.
Earlier on January 14, two sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) Pinky Meena (Bandikui) and Pushkar Mittal (Dausa) and one Neeraj Meena, an alleged middleman employed by Manish Agarwal, were arrested in the same case.
During investigation, it was found that the IPS officer was involved in the extortion bid of a road construction contractor in connivance with other government officials and a middleman. The lid was blown off the racket after a complaint was filed against some of the accused officers, according to an ACB officer.
A construction company, which won the contract for Delhi-Mumbai express highway construction under the Bharatmala project, had complained to the bureau, alleging the SDMs demanded a bribe for helping the contractor in the land acquisition process for road construction and for not obstructing the project.
When he refused, the SDMs started harassing him, the contractor had alleged.
The ACB had found that in the last 35 days, SDM Mittal, along with other officials, met Agarwal multiple times. Neeraj, the middleman from Dausa, also a contractor by profession, was also found to have been in constant touch with Mittal and Agarwal regarding the award of the highway project to the complainant.
The complainant had alleged that the SDMs harassed him continuously citing different technicalities.
“The middleman used by the SP threatened the contractor with a criminal case if he refused to pay ₹10 lakh every month and an extra amount of Rs10 lakh to settle a case. The accused also blackmailed others but they were not able to gather courage to register a complaint. These officials used to threaten victims with trapping them in civil and criminal cases,” said an ACB official.
Meena and Mittal, both Rajasthan Administrative Officers (RAS), are presently in judicial custody.