City Reports

IRS Sahiram trap exposes rampant corruption in opium cultivation in Rajasthan

A farmer has to pay a bribe ranging from Rs 15000 to Rs 1.50 lakh each year during the different steps for opium cultivation.

February 2, 2019, 11:59 am

sahiram meena trap

IRS officer Sahiram Meena.

Jaipur: The arrest of senior narcotics control bureau officer Sahiram Meena following an ACB trap has exposed the corruption in opium licensing process in Rajasthan. During interrogation, Kamlesh - the middleman who was arrested along with Sahiram Meena - revealed many startling details about the corruption prevalent in opium cultivation in the state. A farmer has to pay a bribe ranging from Rs 15000 to Rs 1.50 lakh each year during the different steps for opium cultivation. Narcotics control bureau deputes some supervisors who assist the bureau with the licensing process. Sahiram took advantage of this system and targeted these supervisors, ACB officials said. He allegedly used to take bribes from the farmers of Chittorgarh and Paratapgarh through the supervisors many times in a year. The ACB investigation revealed that a farmer had to pay a bribe of Rs 15,000 to Rs 1 lakh to get the license for opium cultivation. In the second step, farmers paid the bribe of Rs 5000 to 15000 per gram of granaries for the land, where the opium was cultivated. During the harvesting of the crop, farmers had to pay a bribe of Rs 2000 to Rs 8000. Finally, a bribe of Rs 5000 was collected from each farmer when the crop was sold out. “The corruption was every step of the opium cultivation. Sahiram was making crores of rupees every year,” said a senior ACB officer. ACB unearthed movable and immovable properties worth more than Rs 300 crore after arresting Sahiram Meena. On Friday, the ACB recovered jewelry worth Rs 29 lakh from another locker of Sahiram’s wife Hemlata. The Additional Commissioner of Central Narcotic Bureau (NCB) Dr. Sahiram Meena, posted in Kota, was remanded in judicial custody and is currently lodged in Kota Central Jail. He was allegedly caught taking a bribe of Rs 1 lakh on January 26.  

First published: February 2, 2019