Contrary to the claims of the ruling Congress government to provide transparent and responsive administration, the surprise checking of hotels by unknown excise officials at a hotel in Dharampur has kicked up a fresh controversy here.
Earlier, surprise raids by the officials in Kasauli during the tourist season had led to resentment among the businesses in the region.
In a complaint written to the chief minister and senior police officials, hotelier Ved Garg alleged that excise officials unlawfully entered the hotel and took away documents and other related materials without any intimation. Besides “acting as dictators”, the officials also summoned the local police and asked them to register a false case against Garg by handing over three bottles of wine to them.
Garg said at around 4:00 pm, an unknown person came to hotel Tapowan Resort and without giving any introduction to the management of the hotel and the staff on duty, entered the office of the company directors without permission. He then started taking out the papers and other records of the company. Shortly after receiving calls from the hotel staff, Garg reached the site and requested the official to disclose his identity. But the official concerned threatened him and staff members with dire consequences without any provocation. Later, a head constable entered the director's office and directed Garg to vacate the office immediately, failing which he would face dire consequences.
“Shortly after this, two more people, one man and one woman, entered the same office and started arguing with my staff members and me. They threatened to handcuff all of us and put us behind bars.” Garg added, after this, one of them went out of the director's office and came back after a short while with three bottles of wine. He called the local police to register a case against Garg and handed over the bottles to them, threatening Garg to get ready to face criminal prosecution.
The complainant urged the chief minister to order a high-level probe into the incident as the officials concerned, instead of acting as a 'public servant,' had acted in an unlawful manner and implicated him in a false and fabricated case.