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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

Ghaziabad cops extorting ‘free food and sweets’, SSP asks owners to submit bills

The letter has gone viral on social media, making city’s senior superintendent of police, offer to settle dues if approached by the aggrieved shop keepers.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2019 07:20 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
Ghaziabad food sellers association has accused city cops of enjoying free food and sweets.
Ghaziabad food sellers association has accused city cops of enjoying free food and sweets. (HT PHOTO/Representative)
         

A body of food sellers in Ghaziabad city, right next to the national capital Delhi, have alleged cops have been extorting free food and Diwali sweets, leaving the police brass stumped.

A letter by president of Ghaziabad’s Association of Food Operators (AFO), Anil Gupta, alleges cops have been targeting local eateries, bakeries and restaurants, demanding free or discounted food and took away hundreds of sweet packets during Diwali without paying a penny.

The letter has gone viral on social media, making city’s senior superintendent of police offer to settle dues if approached by the aggrieved shop keepers.

“The bills should be submitted to my office and I will ensure that payment is made at the earliest,” said Ghaziabad SSP Sudhir Kumar Singh.

The SSP, however, said he had not received the letter and the author’s mobile number was not mentioned on the letter circulating on social media. He added that the aggrieved vendors could lodge formal complaints with the city SP or the circle officers.

Anil Gupta, who is also a former office bearer of the Ghaziabad Industries Federation, said, he was well known to the police officials and found it surprising that they couldn’t contact him yet.

“I am surprised that the cops have not been able to reach me despite knowing me very well and having my contact number. I posted the letter to the SSP on Wednesday,” Gupta said.

The issue of cops using excuses like traffic violations and fire NOCs to fleece food sellers was raised in a recent meeting of the association that has more than 100 members, Gupta added.

“Even during Diwali, hundreds of boxes of sweets like Kaju Barfi and others were taken for free. Some said they will pay up while others said that they were taking them on 50% discounts,” said Gupta, adding that such behaviour was prevalent across the city and each of the association members had suffered.

He said it was unreasonable for the SSP to ask for the bills as errant cops took away the food items for free. “Everyone is fearful of cops,” Gupta said, and added that his association will approach Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath if action was not taken.