New Delhi: A leaked Whatsapp message has exposed the Noida police’s ‘bribe rate card’, but this is just the tip of the iceberg, as the extent of corruption in the force is beyond imagination. Police sources told DB Post that the corrupt and booming ‘collection business’ rakes in at least ₹20-25 crore per month.
From street vendors to businessmen, Noida police has made rate-charts for everybody, operating from Gautam Budh Nagar district. A shop owner at the popular Sector 18 market said, “you can’t even sell flowers without paying the cops here”.
Noida is a ‘plum’ posting
Gautam Budh Nagar has over 8,000 factories and the maximum number of residential projects in NCR.
Collection from illegal sand mining from Yamuna river bed is a major contributor of the police’s collection business. Ironically, it is also the largest revenue contributor to the state.
This is the reason postings in Noida are considered ‘plum’ and cops pay bribes to be posted in the district.
A senior officer, who has served in the district, told DB Post on condition of anonymity, “Corruption is deep-rooted in Noida. SHOs pays a huge amount to get favourable posting at the police stations. They then deploy constables, who instead of preventing crimes, identify potential sources of income like street vendors, shop owners, businessmen, factory owners, industrialists, builders etc. The constables work as collection agents and maintain a record of money collected to allow individuals and businesses to operate without any inconvenience. The money is further divided according to hierarchy.”
The traffic police department too has a similar mechanism.
‘A money spinner’
A state police officer who retired as a Senior Superintendent of Police said, “Noida is considered as Uttar Pradesh’s money-spinner. No district has so many private housing projects, factories and shopping complexes. The ‘collection business’ shoots up during festive seasons to as much as ₹20-25 crore per month.”
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has started a crackdown against corrupt cops and also transferred hundreds of policemen, both from Noida and Ghaziabad, but the corruption is deep-rooted in the system.
How the incident came to light
The Whatsapp expose has opened a Pandora’s box and resulted in the Noida Crime Branch’s Special Operation Group (SOG) being dissolved. A senior officer said the accused personnel have been attached to the police line.
The ‘collection business’ of the team was exposed after their internal messages about alleged bribery and collections from local businessmen became public on Friday.
The list that went viral on WhatsApp groups mention monthly collections ranging from ₹3,000-₹10,000 from different businesses including fuel stations, cement manufacturers, hotel and restaurant owners, developers, etc.
The list also mentions the cash distributed among inspectors and senior officials.