Bholabhai Chauhan, a trustee of an education trust that runs a primary school in Sihor, Bhavnagar, has lodged a complaint against Mahendra Patel, a self-styled RTI activist, for allegedly forging documents and extorting Rs 27.50 lakh from him. Patel, who lives in Sargasan, Gandhinagar, was booked by the CID Crime, Rajkot, on charges of forgery and extortion.
According to the complaint, Chauhan had hired Jorsinh Parmar to get affiliation for his school, Shree Gyanganga Vidhya Sankul Prathmik Shala, from the education department in May 2019. Parmar had taken Patel’s help to complete the task. However, four months later, Patel called Chauhan and claimed that the documents submitted to the department were tampered with and threatened to cancel the affiliation. He demanded Rs 15 lakh from Chauhan to keep quiet and not file any application with the department. Chauhan and other trustees agreed to pay Rs 13.50 lakh in cash to Patel.
Patel did not stop there and continued to harass Chauhan for more money. He also obtained the school’s documents from the department using RTI and filed several applications alleging that the papers were forged. The department cancelled the affiliation of the school in Jan 2020. Patel then contacted Chauhan again and asked for Rs 12 lakh to restore the affiliation. He took Rs 10 lakh from Chauhan for this purpose. Chauhan also paid Rs four lakh to Patel to start secondary education classes in his school. He also promised to pay him Rs eight lakh more after the classes begin.
Chauhan stated in his complaint that Patel coerced him to pay a total of Rs 27.50 lakh since 2019. He was afraid of Patel’s threats and did not approach the police earlier. However, he decided to file a complaint against him when he could not pay more.
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