Rajasthan ACB battles corruption with memes, mugs, posters and village adoption

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Rajasthan’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is drawing laurels all across the state for its out of the box ideas against corruption, and has smashed all records by arresting corrupt officials from different streams following innovative approaches.

Last year, the ACB arrested 32 officials of the Government of India in bribery cases and disposed of 575 cases. A total of 430 traps were laid in 2021 to nab corrupt personnel while taking bribes, which is the highest number ever since the bureau was set up, said B.L. Soni, Director General (DG), ACB, Rajasthan.

Cases were registered against two IAS, one IPS, one IRS, 12 RAS and five RPS among over 100 senior officials, pendency of around 1,600 cases was removed by working 24by7 even during the pandemic times.

How all this was done? An officer says, “All this was done with a strategic move. The ACB team revamped itself and adopted creative approach by circulating interesting memes, posters, creative coffee mugs and adopting villages. In fact, the ACB sleuths are branding themselves as ‘Rakhi Bhais’ to people and advising them to stop giving their hard-earned money for bribing officers, he informed, adding, “The team recently adopted 51 villages and made people pledge that their hard-earned money will not be wasted in bribing officials.”

“We have apprised the villagers that we are like their Rakhi Bhais and are here to help them save their hard-earned money. ‘Don’t waste your funds in giving bribe’, is what we are teaching them.

“In fact, we have been taking government welfare schemes to them, asking beneficiaries to fill the forms and ensure that these forms reach the right place so that there is no scope of corruption in between.

“We conceptualised interesting slogan, “Mehnat ki Gaadi Kamayen Ko Rishwatkhoron mein nahin lutayen, aye hamare pass and complaint karayen.”

The team has spared no one and arrested an RPSC official on charge of accepting Rs 23 lakh bribe for assuring candidate of clearing interviews, arrested former SP Dausa for demanding monthly bribe of Rs 10 lakh against a project and many others seniors have been nabbed too.

The ACB further celebrated the anti-corruption day as a gratitude day where all those victims who approached us in the last 10 years were identified and invited to office to ensure they are not facing any problem for acting as whistleblowers.

How did the idea of starting the innovation came up, IANS inquired and Soni said, “We started with a toll number. On analysis, we found that complaints coming are not being entertained and hence we deputed senior official to ensure all complaints are being addressed. Then, we introduced a WhatsApp number too to ensure we reach the victims at their doorstep at the earliest. We promoted 1064 number with memes and cartoons, so calls increased and traps increased, we made our audio messages viral and hence results came.

“We strengthened our internal vigilance, transferred our corrupt officials and even arrested our own team members red handed. Further, the complainants were trained to use audio video recordings, he added smilingly.

“We re-engineered our own steps and set deadlines to bring pace to the process.

“During Covid, we called regular video conferences and trained our staff by inviting officers from the CBI, prosecution branch, and senior ACB officials.

“The ACB is presently fine-tuning a few process and is working on misuse of official positions,” he informed.

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