BJP corporator and former standing committee chairman of Surat Municipal Corporation, Bhimji Patel, was arrested by Surat city police after a woman inspector of the Food and Drugs Department from Gandhinagar lodged a complaint against him at Varachha police station on Friday alleging that he attempted to outrage her modesty and created obstructions when she was on duty.
The woman inspector, Jalpa Prajapati, was part of a team of F&D Department from Gandhinagar for inspection. On Thursday evening, the team were checking Krishna Dairy at Lambe Hanuman road in Varachha when Patel reached the spot with a videographer alleging that Suman Thakore, the owner of Krishna Dairy, had bribed Prajapati.
Patel alleged that Prajapati had taken bribe of Rs 20,000 from the owner so that she wouldn’t register a case against him. Patel allegedly snatched her purse and showed the cash in it. Later, Patel was arrested and kept in the Punagam police station for the whole night. As the new spread, his supporters turned up at the police station and started protesting.
On Saturday, Patel was produced before a local court in Surat, and sent to judicial custody as the police did not ask for his remand.
However, he got into controversies earlier too. It was after his complaint, the SMC had demolished a building in Varachha area a couple of days ago, built by son of its executive engineer B K Gadhiya, Vivek, who is a realtor. According to Patel, the building was illegal.
Patel also claimed to have “unearthed”an illegal water distribution network scam in Pandesara area of the city and illegal sale of fire safety systems from Mandarwaja fire station.
He was elected corporator in 2005 for the first time, and was a BJP leader in the municipality from 2008 to 2010. He was also standing committee chairman between 2011 and 2013.
While talking the The Indian Express, Patel said, “I don’t want to change my ways of digging out illegal things happening in front of me.”
Patel was arrested under IPC sections 186, 353 (assault or use force to deter the public servant to perform his duties), 354 (assault or use criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 342 (wrongful confinement), 509 (an act to intend the modesty of a woman) and 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions).