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Small Bribe, Big Trouble: Gujarat Computer Operator Lands in Jail Over Rs. 5

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Jamnagar: In an incident that underscores the deep-rooted issue of corruption, a computer operator from Morkanda village in Jamnagar, Gujarat, was arrested for accepting a bribe of ₹5. Navinchandra Nakum, the operator in question, was caught in a sting operation conducted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for taking the bribe to issue government revenue documents to farmers.

On Friday, the ACB apprehended the 46-year-old operator, who now holds the dubious distinction of taking what could be the smallest bribe in Gujarat’s recent history. K H Gohil, assistant director of the ACB Rajkot unit, remarked, “Despite the modest amount, this bribe highlights the pervasive nature of corruption at even the lowest levels.”

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Navinchandra Nakum, a resident of Morkanda, has been working as a village computer entrepreneur (VCE) since 2013. His role involved providing land revenue documents and ownership letters to farmers.

According to Inspector M D Patel, who led the sting operation, “For each document, the applicant would pay ₹5 – ₹3 would be Nakum’s commission while ₹2 went to the government. His job was to provide land revenue documents and ownership letters to farmers.”

The ACB operation was triggered by several complaints from farmers who alleged that Nakum charged them Rs. 10 per document and pocketed Rs. 5. Following these complaints, the ACB set up a trap, convincing a farmer to act as the decoy. Nakum was caught red-handed and is now being investigated under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Shamsher Singh, DGP (law and order) and director of ACB Gujarat, commented, “While the bribe amount is small, it represents an effort to stop everyday corrupt practices in rural areas. Citizens often have to pay bribes for basic services like revenue documents or Ayushman cards. This needs to be stopped.”

Regarding prosecution sanctions, Singh mentioned, “17 cases have received sanctions with no current pendency. However, there are some cases where sanction to initiate inquiry is pending at the level of the respective departmental head.”

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This incident highlights the importance of addressing corruption at all levels to ensure fair and transparent governance. The ACB’s actions serve as a reminder that no act of corruption is too small to be overlooked, reinforcing the need for vigilance and integrity in public services.

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