Noida Crime Branch Dissolves Its Special Op Group After Allegations Of Bribery Surfaced On WhatsApp
Whatsapp images showing details of cash distribution to various officers of the UP police hierarchy have come to light. There are even amounts mentioned for buying weapons and for conducting operations in Bihar and a list of businesses with their ‘hafta’ specified alongside images. Noida Crime Branch’s Special Operation Group has been, allegedly, extorting ‘protection-money’ in the range of Rs 3,000-10,000 from various businesses, such as cement manufacturers, developers, and fuel station owners.
As reported by The Times of India, on Friday, DGP, UP intimated SSP, Noida to order a high-level probe to look into allegations of corruption. It seems that the DGP received a Whatsapp message forwarded by a constable. The message contained a detailed and descriptive ‘bribe rate-card’ which the constable allegedly forwarded after an argument over sharing of bribe money.
The forwarded images soon became viral, and questions about the systematic corruption in the police force started coming in from all directions. Lending credibility to the allegations, the Noida Crime Branch dissolved their reputed ‘Special Operations Group.’ The 18 officers who were part of the SOG were transferred to ‘police lines,’ a demotion for all intents and purposes.
SSP Noida Ajay Pal Sharma decided to dissolve the SOG and said that all accused have been sent to the ‘police lines.’ As reported by The Times of India, Sharma added, “An inquiry headed by SP City Noida has been launched into the matter.”
UP police has been under some scrutiny as, since last year, over 1,400 encounters have taken place in the state. National Human Rights Commission has recently ordered an enquiry into 17 recent encounters in Uttar Pradesh. As per reports, since Sharma took charge as the SSP, Noida in March 2018, 10 encounters took place under his command in only his first week in-charge.