Dehra Dun : ‘Miyaro Garhwal deedo kano bhagyan, dood ki dhaar deedo, dood ki dhaar’ is an old folk song of Garhwal, which roughly translated reads ‘how blessed is my Garhwal dear ones, with falls of ilk dear ones, falls of milk’.
But it is now truly folklore, for the ground reality is something different in Uttarakhand as corruption has become the order of the day from the highest echelons to the bottom. And to make matters worse, the men in khakhi, who are supposed to maintain law and order, are also making the most.
A constable of Rajpur police station, Vijay Pratap was reprimanded by his senior and transferred. Upset on being transferred he spilled the beans that of a catch of Rs 1.75 crores recently, the policemen on duty kept Rs 29 lakhs aside and showed the remaining amount in the recovery.
Besides he revealed that the police station was getting a certain amount regularly for allowing illegal mining in the police station region, where the limestone mines have been closed on the directions of the Supreme Court.
A gang of illegal ‘satorias’ (bookies) were not arrested after they gave a sum of Rs 1.50 lakhs and recently a police constable who is currently posted at Nainital was caught with two drug smugglers and 1.30 kgs of heroin, worth crores in the international market recovered from their possession.
It is common knowledge in the administration and amongst the public that almost all the in charge of police stations protect those involved in illegal mining, selling liquor got from other states where it cheaper, taking protection money from business houses, or restaurant which serve liquor on the sly, have encroached upon public land or buy disputed property use threaten the parties with arrest and legal action and then sell the property at huge profits.
Recently a policeman of the Premnagar police station was arrested after a business house complained that he was taking protection money and demanding that the amount be raised. Obviously, with the men in khakhi engaged in all these illegal activities, they have no time for policing, which is why there is a robbery almost every day in the city.
District magistrate Ravinath Raman, confirmed that he had specific information that the police stations were taking money for illegal mining of minerals not only from the mountains but the river beds also. “I have already discussed the matter with the concerned authorities and ordered a vigilance probe in the matter”, he added.
But the fact that since 12 years of statehood, no action has been taken against the police and senior officers of various departments allegedly involved in clandestine activity, which has only emboldened others to join in the plunder and loot. So much for ‘miyaro Garhwal’.