The Surat Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), on Saturday, arrested the District Education Officer (DEO) of Tapi district and his office clerk for allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 10 lakh, in exchange for withdrawing notices sent to a trust-run school for tribals to cancel its recognition. A team of DEO officials had conducted a surprise inspection at the school during the lockdown period and found some shortfalls.
The DEO of Tapi, Bharat Patel, had carried out a surprise inspection at a self-financed secondary and higher secondary school at Vyara town of Tapi district on July 1. Over 110 students from classes nine to 12 study in six classrooms of the Gujarati medium school. All students belong to tribal communities and the majority of them are girls, as per school sources.
Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the school was closed in July and only a security guard was posted at the premises. The guard had intimated the school principal about the DEO’s surprise visit. The principal had then reached the school and raised an issue over how an inspection could be carried out amid the pandemic. However, the DEO team found certain shortfalls pertaining to the school’s management and served a notice regarding the work to be undertaken, failing which the recognition of the school would be cancelled.