The Inspector of Somarasampettai police station Samuel Gnanam (35) was caught red-handed on Friday morning by a team of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption sleuths while obtaining bribe of Rs.50,000 from a real-estate businessman through an “unofficial assistant” at the station.

The Inspector and his assistant Satish (33) of Melur were immediately arrested, produced before the Special Court for corruption cases, and remanded in judicial custody.

They were subsequently lodged in the Tiruchi Central Prison. The vigilance team's operation was led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Rama. Ambikapathy.

The action by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption police followed a complaint preferred by the businessman-cum-farmer Duraipandi (34) of Veeranginallur on Thursday that the Inspector, who had, during October, “foisted a case” against him and his partner Backiaraj by interfering in a civil dispute and arrested them, had demanded the bribe money for not taking steps to detain him under Goondas Act. Duraipandi and Raja were released from prison on conditional bail last month.

During August, the Inspector had tried to settle a civil matter pertaining to a feud over alignment of a water channel that Duraipandi had with the owner of a neighbouring field, against his interest.

Apprehending arrest after refusing to budge to the Inspector's dictate, Duraipandi had secured anticipatory bail from the High Court.

Infuriated over this, the Inspector had foisted the case during October and arrested them, according to the complainant. While arresting them, the Inspector had also seized Duraipandi's SUV.

On Wednesday night, the Inspector had summoned Duraipandi to his house at Vasan City and demanded Rs. 50,000 to avoid detention under Goondas Act. Unwilling to pay bribe, Duraipandi preferred the complaint. The vigilance team also conducted a search at the Inspector's residence and seized some incriminating documents.

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