A 97-year-old freedom fighter, Rajmal Choradiya, has alleged that a BJP corporator and Ratlam municipal corporation (RMC) public works committee in-charge, Arun Rao had demanded Rs 50,000 as bribe from him. The bribe was to ensure that the Chorodiya’s house did not come under the category of ‘dangerous’ buildings, and face demolition. The freedom fighter has also alleged that Rao had abused him publicly.
However, a sub-divisional magistrate gave a clean chit to the BJP corporator, infuriating Chorodiya to declare that he will not accept any honour from government during the Independence Day function.
“At one side government is felicitating us for our contribution in freedom movement and on the other hand their party leaders are insulting us,” he said.
“I will join Independence Day celebration as I don’t want to dishonour the day for which thousands of freedom fighters sacrifice their life, but I will not accept any honour,” Choradiya said.
Earlier, taking cognizance of Choradiya’s claim, district collector B Chandrashekhar directed SDM Sunil Jha to probe the matter. During course of investigation, the officer did not find any substantial evidence to prove Choradiya’s claim against Rao.
When contacted, Choradiya and his son Pratap, 65, claimed that SDM Jha only took their neighbour’s statement and never called them for their statement. “How could you submit report without taking the statement of complainant and give clean chit to Rao,” Pratap said.
On the other hand, Arun Rao rubbished all allegations levelled by Choradiya claiming that he never asked any bribe from him or insulted him. “Even SDM did not find any substantial evidence of bribe against me,” Rao said.
“As Rajmal Choradiya is like my grandfather and above all, he is a freedom fighter who fought for the country’s independence, so how could I use any bad words for him,” he said.
Rao said Choradiya’s house is in dilapidated condition and Ratlam civic body has given notice to dismantle the house.