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Accounts officer of Tulja Bhavani temple trust held for accepting Rs 6 lakh bribe

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Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Feb 8 (PTI) The accounts officer of the trust that manages the famous Tulja Bhavani temple in Maharashtra’s Dharashiv district has been arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 6 lakh, a police official said on Thursday.

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The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday nabbed accused Siddheshwar Shinde (39) from the premises of the temple in Tuljapur town on the complaint of a contractor.

The complainant had got a contract for developmental work worth Rs 3.88 crore at a local Sainik school run by the Tulja Bhavani Temple Trust. He has completed 90 per cent of the work, the official said.

Accounts officer Shinde has scrutinised and cleared the contractor’s bills of over Rs 2 crore so far. However, he allegedly demanded Rs 10 lakh from the contractor to get the remaining amount released and also help in the return of the security deposit of Rs 34.6 lakh, an official said.

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Shinde brought down the amount to Rs 6 lakh after negotiations. He was arrested from the trust office on the temple premises after receiving the bribe money from the contractor, the official said.

A case has been registered against Shinde at the Tuljapur police station. The police will present him in the court and seek his remand, the official said.

The police conducted a search at Shinde’s home and recovered 270 grams of gold and Rs 6.08 lakh in cash, said an official from ACB-Dharashiv.

The centuries-old Tulja Bhavani temple attracts lakhs of visitors every year. PTI AW NR

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