Public spearheads CBI’s war against corruption

Public spearheads CBI’s war against corruption


Mumbai: The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been cracking the whip on corrupt babus for the past couple of months, literally. Senior CBI officials attribute the growing number of bribe traps to an initiative taken by them, seeking greater public participation.

The CBI has publicised its telephone numbers in places like railway platforms, bus stops and market areas, encouraging the common man to speak up on corruption. And many did, particularly youngsters. They called in or sent SMSes to the sleuths if they spotted corruption, resulting in an increased number of traps.

"More than 60% of the complaints lodged in the past six months were youngsters, aged between 18 and 35 years," said a senior CBI official, requesting anonymity. Most of those tipped off the CBI about corruption by railway officials, bribes being demanded by senior-level taxmen and other government officials.

"Publicising our numbers and assuring confidentiality to the complainants boosted public faith. We are encouraged in receiving so many calls," added the officer.

In fact, two months ago, a vendor who shuttles between Mumbai and Surat was forcibly confined by the station master in Andheri as he refused to cough up a bribe of Rs6,000. He spotted the CBI number on one of the hoardings and immediately called up the agency, which then laid a trap.

On an average, the CBI receives three calls a week. After receiving tip offs, CBI teams work on them, keeping keen watch before taking appropriate actions. In the past five months, the CBI trapped some 25 corrupt officials. Officials said that the figure was high in comparison to last year, when in all 30 cases were registered.

Senior CBI officials felt that with more and more corruption cases being registered, the public’s perception is slowly changing for the better.

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