Attempt to gag activist with ‘bribe’

An activist fighting against illegal constructions mushrooming in the city was bribed Rs 25,000 to remain silent over a massive building coming up on Choolai High road where allegedly several building violations go unchecked.

The activist, Mr T. Solomon, on Wednesday lodged a complaint with city police commissioner J.K. Tripathy seeking his intervention to nab the stranger who left the bribe in his shop. His letter to the CoP urged the police to declare the money as government property.

Initially, when I raised objections against illegal buildings, I was subjected to a lot of threats and warned of dire consequences.

The local corporation officials and political party functionaries try their best to protect these illegal structures. Subsequently, last year, I approached the Madras high court.

The court passed interim orders seeking action against illegal buildings and the case is pending. In spite of that, buildings with violations are coming up in Vepery, Choolai and other parts of central Chennai violating court norms and town planning rules, he alleged.

“The particular incident happened when I enquired about the constructions coming up near my ironing shop last week. A man, identified as the site supervisor, left the money in my shop early this week and said he would provide more if required and requested me not to rake up the issue,” Mr Solomon alleged.

Several oral complaints to the Chennai corporation and Chennai metropolitan development authority did not bring the field officials to inspect the new buildings coming up in the locality, he said, adding that either the court or the government can only protect the law of the land.

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