Vadodara: A construction contractor who had built toilets under the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan in Kalol taluka of Panchmahal district attempted self-immolation along with his wife on Tuesday afternoon alleging that his dues were not being cleared as he had got an official trapped by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). The infant boy of the couple was also left on the highway as a mark of protest.
The contractor Kanu Patel, a resident of Rena village in Shehra taluka, claimed that he had constructed toilet blocks at Sansoli village adopted by Panchmahal MP Prabhatsinh Chauhan and other villages around it. Patel claimed that he was given only half the payment due to him for 500 of the 750 lavatories constructed in Sansoli. He is also yet to be paid for 339 other toilet blocks.
Patel had claimed in a letter to the Kalol executive magistrate that around Rs 52 lakh was due to him and he had made repeated requests for the same. Patel said that he was being harassed by the officials as he had got a taluka development officer (TDO) trapped by the ACB when the TDO sought a bribe from him to clear his bills.
Patel had registered an offence against a former Kalol TDO in November 2015 after the official sought a bribe from him to clear his bills for the toilet blocks. The TDO was caught red handed by ACB sleuths while accepting the bribe of Rs one lakh.
On Tuesday, Kanu reached the Kalol taluka government office complex along with his wife Sharda and an infant girl. Some of his relatives kept the child on the highway even as Kanu and Sharda poured kerosene on themselves inside the campus. Police personnel who were present in the campus nabbed the couple and their relatives too.
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