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Town panchayat official held for demanding bribe

Special Correspondent

TAMBARAM: Personnel from the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption on Monday evening trapped and arrested an official of a town panchayat near Tambaram following a complaint from a building contractor that the official forced him to pay a bribe.

According to personnel from DVAC, Chennai City (Team I), they were acting on a complaint from Chitti Babu, a building contractor.

A resident of Ramana Nagar in Chitlapakkam near Tambaram, Chitti Babu had completed a building on the premises of Perungalathur Town Panchayat near Tambaram.

The building was worth more than Rs. 40 lakh and Chitti Babu had received payment for most of the building's cost. He had recently gone to the town panchayat office to receive cheques for the final payment of Rs.11.25 lakh due to him.

K.Rangan (57), Executive Officer, Perungalathur Town Panchayat, allegedly asked Chitti Babu to pay him 2 per cent of the bill amount as bribe.

If he refused to pay the money, the town panchayat would not hand over any more work orders to him in future, Chitti Babu was told. Chitti Babu appeared in person and lodged a complaint with DVAC, following which the trap was laid. The team swooped down on the office of the town panchayat and caught the official red-handed, police said, adding Rs. 22,000 was seized. They also searched Rangan's house in Lakshmipuram, Chromepet.

He was produced before a court in Chengalpattu and was remanded in judicial custody. Rangan is the general secretary of Tamil Nadu State Town Panchayat Executive Officers' Welfare Association.

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