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Atul Patankar

IG orders closure of 'fake' police stations

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Atul Patankar

As reported by Rajeev Dikshit at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Dec 15, 2010

 

VARANASI: As amazing as it may sound, but operating 'fake' police stations is also possible in this state. Until IG (range) RP Singh took a serious note of this malpractice and ordered for the closure of 'illegal police stations', a nexus of some officials of the regional transport office, police, 'dalals' (agents or middlemen) and even politicians operated such 'stations' in Ramnagar, Varanasi, and Alinagar and Saiyyedraja in Chandauli.

 

Talking to TOI on Wednesday, the IG admitted that he had issued an order for the closure of such places. After the orders, the fake police stations in Ramnagar and Alinagar have been closed but the police have not confirmed whether the same has happened in Saiyyedraja.

 

A few months back, the TOI had exposed the corrupt practices being committed on highways, especially between Naubatpur check-post (Bihar border) and Varanasi, to extort money from the truck drivers. It had led to the area emerging as a black spot on the route map of the transporters of the country. Apart from initiating other measures like issuing token for overloading to extort money from the truck drivers and owners, this nexus had even created some yards. As per the law, after catching any truck for improper documents or overloading, the trucks are sent to the police stations and the documents are forwarded to the RTO for the necessary action.

 

As the Ramnagar, Alinagar and Saiyyedraja police stations had no space for parking the seized trucks, some yards were created on the private land available along the highways. Those yards were given the name and status of police stations. When the trucks were released after completion of official formalities, the truck drivers were asked to pay yard charges at the rate of Rs 500 per day. No receipt was given to them against that payment while, before taking the truck, Rs 2,000 was also extorted from the truck driver or owner by the policemen present there.

 

A lawyer, Vijay Shankar, who handled the cases of Motor Vehicles Act, said after noticing such malpractice for the past seven years, he decided to seek details of the provision of the 'fake' police stations under the Right to Information Act. In reply to his questions, the RTO as well as the Varanasi DIG made it very clear that their departments did not pay the rent for the premises where such police stations were operating. The replies made it clear that the practices were totally illegal. Shankar said after getting the replies, he met the IG and submitted a memorandum. After that the IG ordered the SP traffic to investigate the matter. On getting a report from the SP traffic, the IG ordered for immediate closure of the fake or illegal police stations in Ramnagar and Alinagar area.

 

The IG's order surely ensured the closure of some fake police stations but many questions have not been answered so far. Shankar asked who would give an account of the money extorted from the truck operators in the name of yard charge? This money was being taken for the past seven years. He also wondered why did the officials not book those involved in the nexus under the anti-corruption act.

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