Even as the mass agitation was in progress at Ramlila Maidan, a government employee seeking admission in a medical college for one of his relatives got frustrated by the process and carried out a 'sting operation' on an agency that was asking for a few lakh rupees in return for a seat in a reputed private or government-recognised medical college.
When Subodh Gupta (name changed on request) failed to get admission in reputed medical colleges, he decided to go in for lesser-known institutes. However, getting into those colleges was not easy either.
"I wasn't getting admission anywhere. Then, someone suggested that I get in touch with a middleman who facilitates such admissions. He, in turn, gave me the number of another person," said the 19-year-old.
"As the Anna movement to end corruption was in full swing, I decided not to pay a bribe to get admission, but to teach the middleman a lesson so that he doesn't ask for a bribe in future. I got in touch with my uncle who is actively involved in fighting such corruption," he added.
Stung by activism
The first thing Gupta's uncle, Jagjit Walia, an electrical engineer at Krishi Bhawan, did was to call on the number. The middleman turned out to be a woman and after a round of introduction, she gave him the 'rates' of colleges in Noida, Greater Noida and other parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Walia decided to teach her a lesson and asked for her address. "I bought a camera which could be used for sting operations from Palika Bazar and reached her office --Daksh Academy in Hari Nagar, west Delhi -- the next day," he said.
After being offered a glass of water at the reception, 56-year-old Walia was taken to a room through a narrow passage where a woman introduced herself as Jagmeet Kaur.
"I was stunned to hear her being so open with her demands. For popular government-recognised and private medical colleges in Greater Noida and other parts of Uttar Pradesh, she demanded anything between Rs 12-18 lakh. All that she needed was two days and a scanned copy of mark sheets," said Walia.
"The money was to be given once the admission process was over. She even told me that it would be distributed to officials from all rungs, including those in the government," he added.
"The whole country is fighting to end corruption and there are people like these who are going about their corrupt activities like nothing's happening. Such people need to be sent behind bars immediately. Through your medium, I want to highlight this problem and also appeal to the general public to not give or accept bribe. I hope Anna's message seeps into the minds of the people. It was he who inspired me to expose the institute's corrupt practices," Walia told MiD DAY.