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Tax defaulter lets dogs loose on VMC officials

Ever heard of a municipal ward officer taking the help of animal activists while sealing a property for not paying tax? It actually happened in Vadodara on Saturday.

Written by Hitarthpandya | Ahmedabad | Published: February 1, 2009 3:23 am

Ever heard of a municipal ward officer taking the help of animal activists while sealing a property for not paying tax? It actually happened in Vadodara on Saturday.

‘Once bitten twice shy’ seemed apt for the officials of Ward-5,as they were chased by two pet dogs owned by Bharat Mehta,who runs Satyanarayan Lodge opposite the Baroda Medical College and is also a tax defaulter for the VMC. He is supposed to pay Rs 1.30 lakh as different taxes,which he is evading since long.

Ultimately,Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) officials had to seek the help of animal activists to complete their work.

“The matter was pending since long and there was a sense of fear among the officials,as the family had turned furious during the last attempt to seal the property. As per the rule,our officials had gone to seal the property,but when they entered the lodge,the owners instigated the dogs who then gave a violent chase to our men. The procedure could not be completed that time,” Ward Officer Upendra Upadhyay told Newsline.

He added: “But learning from past experience,we took the activists with us and as soon as we entered the narrow alley inside the lodge around 11.30 am,one of the two dogs approached us from a small opening inside the lodge. Fortunately,we handled the situation well this time.”

Upadhyay further said that Mehta had fooled them during the earlier raid by giving bank cheques,which had bounced. “This time,we had taken the help of police,encroachment officials,fire officials and additional staff to handle the situation. Still,while sealing the property,we were manhandled and they even threw hot cooking oil on us. Fortunately,it did not burn us,as most of us were clothed in thick winter wear,” he said.

Upadhyay said they have lodged a complaint against the family with the Karelibaug police for “disrupting the government work”. “We have initiated an investigation into the matter,” said an official at Karelibaug police station.

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