Nagpur: Taking a serious note of Nagpur Today report on the corrupt practices being indulged by the ‘ring’ of contractors in NMC and the investigating Sadar cops showing a soft corner towards a specific ‘tainted’ contractor and also trying to derail the probe, the higher official of police station has reportedly divested the policemen of the probe and took the investigation into his own hands.
The Regional Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Manavadhikar Nigrani Samiti Lalsingh Thakur had recently shot a letter to Crime Branch and highlighted the corrupt practices being indulged in by some of the unscrupulous contractors in connivance with certain NMC babus. Thakur, in his letter, had urged the Crime Branch to go deeper into shady affairs and dig out the truth. Thakur had alleged that a ‘ring’ of contractors, in connivance with a Tender Cell employee named Lokhande hacked the website of NMC and rigged the tenders of various works. With this nasty practice, the ‘ring’ of contractors rigged the tenders and pocketed around Rs 200 crore every year since the past six years.
In his letter to Crime Branch, Thakur has raised the following points:
• A high-level investigation be initiated in the ‘high-level’ corruption in NMC’s tendering process.
• Since the matter falls in cyber crime category, the cyber cell of Crime Branch dig out the truth and nail the guilty.
• The details of mobile calls, SMSes, WhatsApp chats of the ‘tainted’ contractors (names provided by him) should be scanned so that truth comes to fore. Earlier, the Crime Branch had forwarded a letter to Sadar Police Station for investigating our complaint and also recording statements. Subsequently, a senior Head Constable named Dhurve was assigned the responsibility. On the instructions of Dhurve, his Writer Charde called him to police station on June 15 for recording his statement. Surprisingly, Charde recorded my the statement in a very few words or to say precisely adopted a ‘short cut.’ Charde then asked me to come to Police Station again on June 22 for appearing before DCP of Crime Branch.
According to sources, the Sadar cops had not recorded the statements of any of the past presidents of NMC Contractors’ Association nor the present office-bearers till June 21 evening as demanded by me. But still the investigating officer phoned him on June 21 and directed him to appear before the DCP on Wednesday (June 22). When Thakur asked the cops whether statements of any of the past presidents of NMC Contractors’ Association or the present office-bearers were recorded, he said that he did not get time to do so. In turn, Thakur retorted by saying what is the use of him appearing before the ACP or DCP unless the statements of others were not recorded. Finally, the cop agreed to record statements.
According to Thakur, Dhurve or Charde first called a contractor named Sheikh Ramzan on June 28 and recorded his statement. Sheikh Ramzan, while recording his statement, had urged the investigating cops to record statements of other ‘tainted’ contractors separately. But Dhurve and Charde called all the contractors simultaneously and recorded their statements together. On June 29, all the called contractors reached the Sadar Police Station together and recorded their statements, ‘uniquely.’ Thereafter, the contractors were asked to appear before the DCP Crime Branch next Wednesday.
“All these ‘activities’ of the ‘tainted’ contractors in coming together to police station and recording statements in a suo motu manner shows the rot. Had our complaint held no water then why the Tender Cell in NMC was shut down and why the NMC is now floating tenders through State Government website? The truth behind this move could be sought from NMC Administration. I don’t have any vested interests in exposing the ‘ring’ of contractors nor bagging a tender,” Thakur asserted.
Acting on the revealing letter of Thakur to Crime Branch, the Police Inspector of Sadar Police Station has divested the investigating cops probing the corrupt practices being indulged in by the ‘ring’ of contractors and took the investigation into his hands.
The tainted contractors mop up crores by forming a “ring” of contractors 4-5 years ago with the “help” of babus and office-bearers of the local body and usurped 1 percent commission from the contractors of the “Ring.”. This money in crore is being used by a key contractor of the Association in their “money-multiplying” activities. This practice has seriously brought down the productivity and quality of output.
Nonetheless, sources added, entire gamut is firmly placed to stick to corrupt means. The contractual system in Nagpur Municipal Corporation has been proving to be the breeding grounds for corrupt practices, as insiders broke open the entire scheme of things undertaken to get any NMC contractor registered or renewed.
The Regional Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Manavadhikar Nigrani Samiti Lalsingh Thakur took up the matter with Economic Offences Wing of Crime Branch and demanded appropriate legal action in order to stop misuse of people’s tax money by some unscrupulous elements that are ruling the NMC roost.
– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( email@example.com )