Forest Officer allegedly demands extortion from timber merchant in Odisha

Cuttack: A forest officer has allegedly demanded extortion from a timber merchant in Banki of Odisha. The officer has been identified as Rakesh Kumar Panda of Baideswar Forest Department.

Reportedly, an audio clip has gone viral where the officer can be heard saying that until the merchant pays him the amount of demanded extortion he will not be able to take the wood. The screenshot of the payment history has been making rounds.

The merchant has paid him an amount of Rs 4000 as advance of payment of four months. He has paid via online transaction to the phone pay account of the Forest Officer till the month of April.

However, the Officer has been demanding the money from the merchant again. When the merchant failed to make the payment, the officer blackmailed him by saying that a lawsuit shall be filed against him.

When officer Panda was questioned regarding the transaction history and the audio clips, he avoided the questions and said that the Khurda ranger shall talk about it.

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