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Rupani orders probe in graft charges against pilgrimage board

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Press Trust of India Ahmedabad
The Gujarat government Friday asked the Vigilance Commissioner to probe the allegations of corruption in carrying out projects at religious sites by the pilgrimage development board and ordered suspension of an officer.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani ordered the suspension of an officer whose audio clip brought the issue of alleged corruption in the board to the fore.
In an official release, the government said the CM has asked the Vigilance Commissioner to probe the allegations of corruption against the Gujarat Pavitra Yatradham Vikas Board.
The issue came to the fore after a purported audio clip, having conversation of a senior government officer and an RTI activist, went viral on social media platforms.
In the purported clip, Anil Patel, additional secretary in the state panchayat department, can be heard admitting large-scale corruption in the board where he was once posted.
Patel can be heard saying that corruption took place in carrying out various works at pilgrimage places such as Pavagadh, Rameshwar, Bahucharaji, Shabri Dham and Dwarka.
As per the government release, Rupani has asked the Vigilance Commissioner to submit preliminary inquiry report as early as possible.
The CM also asked the corruption watchdog to take action against those found guilty during the probe.
Terming Patel's conduct as "inappropriate", the CM has ordered his suspension for engaging in "indiscipline", said the release.
Patel has violated various provisions of the service conduct rules by "criticising the government" and providing information "without having any authority" to do so, it added.

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First Published: Dec 28 2018 | 8:40 PM IST

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