Dehra Dun : Though there are a number of instances where the lay and sundry have to cough up money to the illegal demands of the authorities that be in power, a few are now mustering the courage to expose them.
The most recent is that of a police station incharge, Jitender Kumar called the owner of a billiards salon and asked him to pay Rs 10,000 per month if he wanted to run his premises.
The man in khakhi even threatened that if the money was not paid the premises would be closed down on some pretext or the other, if the Rs 10,000 per month was not paid as protection money.
The shopkeeper appraised the mahasabha of his community of the illegal demand and fear of being forced to close down if the gratification was not paid every month. At this the officer bearers of the mahasabha met DIG Sanjay Gunjial and and informed him of the demand by the police inspector.
To prove their allegation they also played the recroding of the conversation in which the demand was met, which satisfied Gunjial that the police inspector had indeed demanded the so-called protection money.
Gunjial immediately ordered the police inspector to be sent to the lines and informed the mahasabha office bearers that taking into the consideration the seriousness of the offence the inspector could also be suspended.
It may be recalled that recently a traffic polce inspector had informed his juniors that they had to pay Rs one lakh to their seniors and to collect the money so that it could be forwarded. Even this was informed to the police higher ups, who found the complaint correct.
Incidentally in this small mountain state, tragically corruption has become an accepted part in the life of the citizens. Isolated incidents of punishing the lower levels of babudom will hardly solve the problem unless the men at the top are pulled up and punished.
A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt was Editor, Hill Post (Uttarakhand).
Jagdish had worked with India’s leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, he was a recipient of many awards
Jagdish Bhatt, aged 72, breathed his last on 28th August 2021 at his Dehradun residence.