[Watch] Puri Excise Inspector, Who Accused Cops Of Taking Kickbacks From Smugglers, Apologises For Remarks; Know Why

Puri: A day after accusing police personnel of collecting bribes from smugglers of liquor, ganja and other contraband items, Excise Inspector Sanjaya Panda on Tuesday apologised for his remarks and said he was retracting them.

He said after recovering from COVID, he was under treatment for mental health issues and has been on medication for the last two years. Panda said that for the last one month he had not taken his medicines as they were not available and that probably led to Monday’s outburst.

“I respect my superiors and the police force. Whatever I said was a slip of tongue. It was a mistake and I apologise for it. Please forgive me,” he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Panda went on 15 days’ sick leave.

Panda wrote to Excise Superintendent Amarendra Jena, seeking leave. He cited “deteriorating mental and physical condition following COVID infection” and sought leave for treatment and recuperation.

Panda on Monday shot off a letter to the Excise Commissioner of Odisha, accusing police personnel of collecting bribes from smugglers of liquor, ganja and other contraband items.

“While carrying out raids in Puri district in the past one year, I found that whenever we arrest any excise offenders, they said they are giving huge monthly money to the police station staff,” Panda, Excise Inspector of District Mobile Unit, said in his letter.

He alleged that less number of excise cases are being detected by the police station staff due to their nexus with the offenders, who have little fear of Excise Department officials. “A very less number of excise cases were detected by police personnel as they accept bribe from illegal liquor traders, smugglers of ganja and other contraband items,” he alleged.

Panda also highlighted that the Excise Department has only 20 to 25 staff and two vehicles in Puri. “As a responsible officer of the Excise Department, I feel very disregarded and discouraged while doing my duty with limited staff and less salary without any reward and recognition, accommodation and service vehicle as compared to that of police personnel.”

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