To check corruption, cops in Una barred from carrying over Rs 200

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In a bid to curb corruption, the police chief of Himachal Pradeshs Una district has issued a unique diktat barring on-duty cops manning check-points to keep more than Rs 200 with them. Una superintendent of police Diwakar Sharma said the decision was taken after he received complaints alleging that police personnel at check-points demanded bribes from pilgrims entering the hill-state. Continuous complaints of (policemen) seeking bribes, especially from pilgrims coming from neighbouring Punjab to pay their obeisance at the temples located in Himachal Pradesh, has forced me to take this decision, the SP told PTI. Sharma said the district was the entry point for thousands of pilgrims coming from Punjab to pray at the states various holy shrines including Chintpurni, Jawalji and Kangra. The directive was issued yesterday and implemented from today. If there is any urgency for a particular cop posted at any check-post to keep more than Rs 200 with him or her, then the police personnel will have to mention the exact amount in daily diary of the concerned police station, he said. The SP further said he had suspended five cops after catching them red-handed while taking bribes from pilgrims at Mubarakpur check-post on March 28. Subsequently, the policemen posted at Marwari check-post were transferred on suspicion of taking a bribe on June 20, he said, adding that the power to issue challans and compound vehicles of some cops was withdrawn after they were found guilty of corruption. Despite the crackdown, the complaints of cops at check-points seeking bribes kept pouring in forcing Sharma to issue the unique directive, he said. I have carried out several surprise raids as a commoner since my posting as SP in Una on January 4 and found that corruption is rampant at check points, he said. I am hopeful this decision will act as a deterrent, he added.