Cops pull strings for rly contractors
A POLICE-CONTRACTOR nexus has once again surfaced in the offices of the Divisional Railway Managers (DRM) of Northern Railway (NR) and Northern Eastern Railway (NER).india Updated: Mar 12, 2006 01:46 IST
A POLICE-CONTRACTOR nexus has once again surfaced in the offices of the Divisional Railway Managers (DRM) of Northern Railway (NR) and Northern Eastern Railway (NER).
Policemen had a big stake in lucrative railway contracts over the last decade. However, a majority of them, especially those in the Special Task Force (STF), distanced themselves from the business after the then SSP, STF, initiated punitive action against his errant men a year and a half ago.
As soon as the officer was transferred, these policemen started meddling in railway contracts once again.
No other officer, either in the Lucknow police or the STF, took interest in checking the practice.
For instance, a railway contractor JP Singh and his men, known as the team of mafia don Abhay Singh in the DRM offices, attacked a rival contractor following a dispute two years ago. The victim lodged an FIR and Hazratganj police arrested Singh and his brother the same day.
Soon after the contractor’s arrest, the then SP (East) was under pressure from a few STF officials to release the accused.
The STF officials even engaged in a heated exchange with the then SP (East) over the matter. The latter, however, did not ‘help’ his counterparts and sent the accused to jail, slapping the Gangster Act.
It later came to light that Abhay Singh and JP Singh were close to an inspector posted with the STF and the latter was applying pressure to favour his ‘friends’. This is how contractors enjoy the patronage of the police and secure lucrative contracts by issuing threats to rival contractors and railway officials.
Whenever any contractor challenges the process of procuring tender, policemen start supporting the other group. Policemen initially threaten the rival contractors to withdraw their claim. If the contractors ignore the threats, the cops manage to concoct information and pass it on to senior officials.
And, soon after getting orders from top cops, policemen raid houses of rival contractors. These contractors are kept in police custody till the tender for the contract goes to the group supported by policemen. As the message spreads, other contractors avoid purchasing tender forms claimed by the ‘influential’ group. Mafia dons and policemen also attack railway officials at will.
A group of goons attacked a superintendenting engineer (SE) with the NR DRM office Sanjiv Kumar Sharma at the railway rest house in Hazratganj on Thursday evening. The engineer had terminated the contract of Abhay Singh’s aide Anees despite several warnings. Hence, Sharma incurred the wrath of the gangster. No arrest was made yet in the case.