The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in Thane has arrested the personal assistant of Ulhasnagar municipal commissioner and an official of the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) while accepting bribe from a local builder.
The accused have been identified as Ganesh Shimpi, the PA of commissioner BN Khatgaonkar, and Rizwan Shemane, the area’s mukadam. “On Wednesday the accused were produced in Kalyan court where they were remanded in police custody till May 10,” said Ujjwala Vaidya, head of the ACB team.
Talking to MiD DAY, the builder said he was constructing a one-floor building in Ulhasnagar-4. Last week the UMC demolished his building, claiming it was impinging on the road. He said since his building was 15 feet away from the road, he therefore started construction again. Earlier, a woman councillor had complained in the UMC against the building, and taken Rs 1 lakh as protection money from the builder. The builder said she was demanding an addition of Rs 2 lakh. During the demolition the builder asked her to protect him but she turned him away.
Later, Shimpi demanded a bribe of Rs 1,00,000 and Shemane Rs 50,000 to let the builder carry on with his project. Shimpi later reduced his demand to Rs 50,000. The builder paid him Rs 25,000 and Shemane Rs 20,000, but they continued to harass him. Frustrated, the builder approached Inspector Ujjwala Vaidya of the Thane ACB. On Tuesday evening, Vaidya laid a trap and arrested Shimpi from his Ambernath residence while accepting Rs 25,000 from the builder, and Shemane from Ulhasnagar-4 while accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000.
On April 18, Hill Line police in Ulhasnagar had booked Shimpi and former deputy mayor and local councillor Jaya Sadhwani in an extortion case for demanding Rs 50,00,000 from builder Manoj Jagwani. Yuvraj Bhadane, spokesperson of UMC, confirmed the arrest of Shimpi and Shemane.