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SMC officials held in Surat fire tragedy grilled in assets case

These officials have been lodged in Lajpore Central Jail in Surat since their arrest following the fire that claimed the lives of 22 students on May 24.

By: Express News Service | Surat | Published: June 19, 2019 1:51:41 am
surat fire, surat private school fire, fire at private school in surat, surat coaching centre fire, coaching centre fire, fire at surat coaching centre, india news, Indian Express Smoke billows from the Taxshila Complex after a fire engulfed the third and fourth floor of the coaching centre, in Surat, Friday, May 24, 2019. (PTI Photo) 

The Surat Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Tuesday questioned three municipal corporation officials arrested in the Takshashila Arcade fire case, under suspicion of amassing wealth disproportionate to their known source of income.

These officials have been lodged in Lajpore Central Jail in Surat since their arrest following the fire that claimed the lives of 22 students on May 24.

Surat police Crime Branch has arrested 10 persons — Surat Municipal Corporation Junior Engineers V K Parmar and H D Singh, Deputy Engineers P D Munshi and Jayesh Solanki, then fire officer of Kapodara station Kirti Modh and his deputy S K Acharya, apart from three builders and a coaching class owner in the fire incident.

The ACB began an investigation into disproportionate assets against the arrested SMC officials on the direction of Gujarat ACB Director Keshav Kumar.

Surat ACB Deputy Superintendent of Police N D Chauhan visited the Lajpore jail along with his team and questioned Parmar, Modh and Acharya on Tuesday.

Chauhan said they would also question junior engineer Singh. “We have collected all the information and are questioning them to find out how much wealth they gained through unethical or other ways.” he said. “We are waiting for a permission from the Surat municipal commissioner to investigate the deputy engineer-rank officials.”

The ACB collected details of the officials’ salary from the time of their joining to the present date, from the Surat Municipal Corporation and were tallying the income with the value of their properties and investments, sources said. The ACB is also finding out if the officials had any other sources of income.

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