Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Forest officials 'demand bribe' from Collector's car driver, land in trouble

MARAYUR: An instance of a forest official demanding a bribe amount of Rs 10,000 from a collector’s car driver for pulling out the car from a gorge at Chinnar along Kerala-Tamil Nadu border has come to light.
The mishap involving the car happened near the Forest department check-post at Tamil Nadu Forest area. The car belonged to Ahmedabad District Collector and Marayur Mashiva native Arun Mahesh Babu.

In the car, there were Arun Mahesh’s father Shanmukham, mother Chappathi, driver Shelvaraj and a helper.

The car slid into the gorge when it was parked on the road side to give way for the jeep of the forest department.

Luckily, no one was injured but the forest official took the diver into custody and whisked him away in their jeep to Amaravati Range Office, which is 10 km away.

Despite explaining to the officials that the car belonged to the collectors and showing them the proof, they remained unrelenting. They even snatched the copy of the collector’s identity card that was with the driver.

The officers didn’t budge even when the driver said that collector Arun Mahesh’s Sister Dr Kalaivani is an official in Tamil Nadu cadre. Finally, they reduced the bribe amount to Rs 5000.

All these hours, the collector’s parents and helper remained at the accident site. After waiting for about three hours, they took an auto-rickshaw back home.

Soon Arun Mahesh was informed about what had happened.

After that, everything happened at war-footing. Tiruppur DFO intervened and the same officials who demanded bribe was assigned the duty to take out the car safely.

Now, those officials are running after the collector’s parents with an apology letter in order to make sure that their jobs remain secure.

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