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Take a tour of jail, get a glimpse of the life behind the bars and decide for yourself if you want to indulge in corruption. This is the message the Farrukhabad District Magistrate has for government officials to deter them from graft. District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar has hit upon the novel idea and sent 576 government employees to the central jail in Farrukhabad to interact with inmates, including government officials who are living in confines of the prison. "Recently I suspended six government officials as they were allegedly involved in corruption. In the entire process of taking action, a probe officer is appointed and again the possibility of corruption rises.
The best way to curb corruption is to instill a sense of responsibility among the officials so that they themselves deter from corrupt practices," Kumar told PTI over the phone. About his concept of sending government officials on "jail tourism", Kumar said there were 88 government employees from across the state lodged in the central jail, Farrukhabad. "'Jail tourism' should act as a new mantra to deter corrupt officials," he said. "I sent 576 government officials to visit jail yesterday so that they share the experience of inmates, including government servants. The objective is that they should know the experience of those behind bars and ultimately deter them not to indulge in corrupt practice which might invite similar fate for them," the district magistrate said. Among those who visited the jail included Lekhpals (revenue officers) dealing in land-related matters, ration shop owners, who deal with supply of food items, and panchyat officers, who deal with various schemes implemented at village level. Head of some departments also went inside the jail to feel the life there, he said, adding that following the state government's 'zero tolerance for corruption' his aim was to check the menace. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed displeasure over rising corruption and kept it on its priority to rid the state from corruption. He had also raised question mark on functioning of the anti-corruption organisation (ACO) in the state while saying that it was time to restructure the body to make it more effective and result-oriented. The ACO deals with complaints of corruption related to the police force and non-gazetted ranks of other state government departments. There has been a number of arrests of government officials, including an ARTO (Assistant Road Transport Officer) in Chandauli, and a number of policemen have been caught taking bribe. The CM has also recommended probe into a number of schemes launched in previous Samajwadi Party regime during which corruption allegedly prevailed. The alleged scams in Shia and Sunni waqf boards and Gomti river front project are already under the scanner, while sale of sugar mills without following norms is also being probed by the Yogi Adityanath government.