Oil dealers, union leaders run CAPD as Akhoon, Samoon reply AQs
Police digs multi-Crore ration scam; heads to roll in CAPD, Revenue departments
AHMED ALI FAYYAZ
SRINAGAR, Mar 8: That the infamous Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department (CAPD) in Kashmir valley is completely run by a mafia, having ration dealers and trade union leaders hand-in-glove with officials of CAPD and Revenue departments, has become clear as Srinagar Police have seized at least five kersone oil tankers and arrested their drivers and owners while swindling huge quantities of kerosene oil in black-market. Men of extremely high political and bureaucratic clout have been found directly involved in the multi-Crore ration scandal even as Minister, Qamar Ali Akhoon, and Commissioner-Secretary, Asgar Samoon, have been appreciating performance of their subordinate officers while making replies for questions in Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.
Official sources told Early Times that heads were likely to roll in CAPD and Revenue departments as no less than a Head of the Department and six officers of the rank of Tehsildar, Deputy Director and Assistant Director had been found directly involved in the multi-Crore ration scam that has been in operation in full knowledge of the Government and civil society in Kashmir valley in the last over 20 years. Sources said that Director CAPD, Meraj-ud-din Keno had himself established his participatory involvement by way of initially issuing the allotment letters and later disowning and withdrawing the same. A whole-sale dealer of kersone oil, who runs six different companies in the names of his family members and relatives, has also succeeded in getting the documents manipulated by two Tehsildars.
Sources said that on 05-02-2010, Police Station Shergari, Srinagar, received a specific information that one K-oil tanker bearing registration number JK02W/3935, driven by Mushtaq Ahmad Wani of Munawarabad was being illegally off-loaded at the shops of Mohammad Shafi Darzi and Ghulam Nabi Darzi, sons of Abdul Ahad Darzi, residents of Alochibagh. Case FIR No: 07/2010 under sections 120B, 409,420 RPC, 3/7 Essential Commodities Act, was registered and the investigation of the case was entrusted to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the supervision of SP City South, Mohammad Irshad.
During the course of investigation, it became clear that the said tanker had been diverted by whole-sale major, M/S Rafiquee and Co. Relevant documents were seized from the office of the whole-sale dealer. It surfaced during investigation that the tanker seized was from of fleet of 10 kerosene oil tankers, fraudulently dispatched on the same date to various parts of district Baramulla. It was observed that all the 10 tankers had been loaded on a fake allotment issued by Director CAPD under No: 1505-61 Dated. 02-02-2010. During his questioning, Assistant Director CAPD, Baramulla, revealed that Director Meraj-ud-din Keno had issued the allotment in absence of necessary roaster for the month of February for Baramulla district.
It became thus clear that all the 10 tankers had been moved by M/S Rafiquee and Company Srinagar without any authorization /formal orders from the Controlling/Regulating Authority i.e, CAPD Department. Thereupon, remaining tankers, bearing registration numbers JK02W-3935, JK01F-4273, JK02W-3925, JK02W-3975, JK01F-4138, JK04-3504, JK02-3974, JK01F-4147, JK02W-3941 and JK02W-3942 were also followed. Out of nine tankers, seven were found to have off-loaded the kerosene oil at different locations.Tankers numbers.JK02W-3925 and JK01F-4273 were found parked at Tangpora Bye Pass on 13-02-2010.
The vouchers recovered from the drivers of these two tankers revealed that the kerosene oil loaded was meant to be distributed in Tehsil Sopore. As regards the remaining tankers, three of them produced the vouchers carrying a certificate of concerned Tehsildars, to the effect that the said the same were received and unloaded on 06-02-2010, in contradiction with regard to the date because of the drivers of these tankers deposed that they received and unloaded their tankers on 05-02-2010, instead of 06-02-2010.
A secret inquiry was conducted into the matter to know the actual dates of dispatch and delivery of the K-oil tankers in question? Which revealed that the certificates, issued by the concerned Tehsildars were managed by M/S Rafiquee and company Srinagar in a very meticulous way to throw dust in to the eyes of the investigating agency. The truth being this, that the K-oil tankers were lifted on 05-02-2010 from Srinagar and unloaded at different locations mentioned above on 05-02-2010 through two persons namely Abdul Hamid and Firdous Ahmad.
Officials said that Abdul Hamid and Firdous Ahmad had been acting as conduits between retail and whole sale dealers of kerosene oil and the department of CAPD. Both the above mentioned persons have been diverting a large quantity of kerosene oil earlier also, in active connivance with certain employees of the department of CAPD, Retail/outlet dealers & Whole sale Dealers of kerosene oil. In the instant case they have accompanied the drivers of the K-oil tankers who unloaded the kerosene oil at different locations and in this way have been able to save a large quantity of kerosene oil that has been diverted to some unknown destinations for the purpose of black marketing.
It may not be out of place to mention here, that it is the duty of the Assistant Director CAPD Department and the Tehsildar concerned to depute their representatives along with the drivers of K-oil tankers to unload the kerosene oil at different depots according to the roaster, so as to avoid any sort of pilferage of the controlled commodity. But it has been observed that not only in the case of above three K-oil tankers, but also in the case of remaining K-oil tankers, the drivers were directed by the conduits like Abdul Hamid and Firdous Ahmad to unload the K-oil tankers as per their whims and fancies so as to facilitate the black marketing and hoarding of the K-oil.
The above facts have made it amply clear that none of the K-oil tankers in question were lifted or delivered according to the roaster or directions issued by the department of CAPD, which is the controlling and regulating authority. It was also established that the certificates obtained from the concerned Tehsildars with regard to the unloading of K-oil tankers at different locations were maneuvered and managed by the M/S Rafiquee and Co. Srinagar as a cover up to hush up the matter. It was further established that there is a set modus-operandi for the diversion of kerosene oil to be sold in open market for the purpose of black marketing.
Role of Whole Sale Dealers
In connection with the investigation of the case, the Owners of M/S Rafiquee and Co Srinagar, namely Mushtaq Ahmad Rafiquee and Manzoor Ahmad Rafiquee S/O Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Rafiquee were called and questioned by the investigating team. In this connection the manager of Rafiquee and Co Srinagar Tahir Ahmad Shora, casher Mohammad Lateef Malik and peon Mohammad Shafi of M/S Rafiquee and Co Srinagar, were also called and questioned. The previous records of M/S Rafiquee and Co Srinagar pertaining to the procurement and supply of the kerosene oil was also perused.
After questioning and perusal of the record it was found the each whole sale dealer gets a fixed quota of K-oil from Indian Oil Corporation, which is communicated to CAPD Department and CAPD Department in turn communicates the same to the districts. Assistant directors of CAPD of each district issues a roaster/ formal allotment order of kerosene oil in favour of retail outlet Dealer against the no. of consumer’s coupons (Chandees) deposited at the end of the previous month by the retail outlet dealer, (making a mention of the same to whole sale dealer who has to deliver the prescribed quantity of K-oil mentioned in the roaster/ formal allotment order of kerosene oil). On getting a copy of the roaster duly issued by Assistant Director of the CAPD Department each retail outlet dealer is supposed to deposit the proportionate amount of money equivalent to the allotment made in his name @ Rs 9.55 per liter to the whole sale dealer.
Whole sale dealer on receiving the money, dispatches the K-oil tanker to each prescribed location mentioned in the roaster. Each Retail outlet dealer gets the quota equivalent to the submitted consumer coupons ( Chandees) that he submits at the end of the each month to the CAPD Department. Since there are lot of Retail dealers in each district therefore they have made unions (jhattas) headed by one individual. Each district has 1-3 jhattas. The` heads of each Union (Jhatta) remain in constant touch with both whole sale dealers and supply section of the CAPD Department. These union heads in connivance with the employees of CAPD Department and whole sale dealers determine the quantity of kerosene oil to be delivered to the oil depots. It is very astonishing to know, that this is the exclusive prerogative of these heads of the unions/jathaas to fix the quantity of the kerosene oil to be disbursed and not the Assistant Director CAPD Department of the concern district. The same is corroborated by the statements of the drivers of the K-oil tankers, the heads of the unions/jathaas of retail outlet dealers of K-oil as well as the locals whom we have been able to question so far.
Arrangement of Consumer coupons (Chandees)
During the course of investigation, it was observed that the majority of the people of the Kashmir keep their Ration cards with the Retail outlet Dealers (Munshi), do not get the prescribed quantity of kerosene oil regularly. The heads of the unions/ jathaas get these consumer coupons ( Chandees) of kerosene oil from each Retail outlet Dealer ( Munshi) equivalent to their share of kerosene oil, issued by the Assistant Director of the CAPD department of the concerned district. It is further observed that there is no mechanism of supervision on the part of CAPD department to ensure that the card holder (Consumer) whose consumption coupon or chandee has been submitted actually receives the kerosene oil or not.
As mentioned above that the Ration cards of the consumers are lying in the possession of the Retail outlet dealer (Munshi) who manipulate and fraudulently maintains the record every month to receive the quota of kerosene oil from the CAPD department through whole sale dealers. In actual practice they do not disburse the kerosene oil to the majority of consumers and in this way a large quantity of kerosene oil gets diverted to various locations for the purpose of black marketing in open market.
Diversion of kerosene oil
During the course of investigation, it was observed that there are few kerosene oil depots operating in Kashmir valley, adjacent to the major Bus stands. They have built extra storage capacity to dump illegally diverted kerosene oil for the purpose of black marketing. The diverted kerosene oil is dumped in these depots and subsequently sold in the black market from these illegal outlets functioning clandestinely in some major bus stands of the Srinagar city like, Batmaloo, Panthachowk and Fruit Mandi. Likewise such outlets also function in the Bus stands of the major district head quarters of Kashmir valley.
One such kerosene oil depot is owned by one Mohammad Shafi where the K-oil tanker bearing No.JK02W-3935 was seized by P/S Sherghari, where from the investigation of the case started. The said depot has a storage capacity of more than 20,000 liters. Where as the said depot, in one K-oil tanker gets only 3000 liters of kerosene oil monthly against the coupons ( Chandees) of the consumers @Rupees 9.55/Liter Whereas the remaining 9,000.00 Liters of K-oil in a tanker @Rupees 17/Liter that are meant to be sold in open market for the purpose of black marketing. In this regard the statement of one Ghulam Nabi who happens to be the brother of Mohammad Shafi (The owner of the depot in question) was recorded u/s 164 of CRPC who stated, that they get the kerosene oil against coupons (Chandees) @Rs9.55 per liter. where as the surplus K- oil meant for diversion in the open market for the purpose of black marketing is purchased @ Rs 17/Liter and which is ultimately sold in the open market for the purpose of black marketing @ Rs22/Liter some of the illegal outlets of K-oil operating in bus stands were called and questioned and their statements were recorded u/s 161A CPRC, where in the stated, that they get the kerosene oil from kerosene oil depots, two of which are located in Alochibagh one in Bemina and one in Haba Kadal etc.
Role of M/S Rafiquee and Company
During the course of investigation, it came to light that there are 22 registered whole sale dealers of oil companies in Kashmir valley, engaged to distribute the kerosene oil to different destinations. M/S Rafiquee and Company Srinagar is one among them registered in the name of Mushtaq Ahmad Rafiquee and Manzoor Ahmad Rafiquee S/O Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din M/S Rafiquee and Company Srinagar gets the lion’s share as it lonely distributes 25 percent of the total allocated K-oil in Kashmir valley. In the further investigation, the investigation team came to know that besides M/S Rafiquee and Company Srinagar, the above mentioned individuals own five more such companies, they are:-
1. R & Co.
4. Star Service Station
5. Kathua Service Station
In total these five companies and M/S Rafiquee and Company Srinagar the aforementioned individuals (Proprietors) get 50 percent of the total allocated kerosene oil quota in Kashmir valley. Thus it is evident that M/S Rafiquee and Company Srinagar has monopolized the kerosene oil distribution market. The proprietors of these six companies mentioned, above get a fixed share in respect of each diverted K-oil tanker, irrespective of the outlet or depot where the kerosene oil is black marketed…… They manage and maneuver the relevant papers accordingly by greasing the palms of the people at the helm of affairs. During the investigation, the investigating team came to know about petrol Pump functioning in the name and style of Star service station, which is owned and illegally run by the above mentioned individuals.
The said petrol pump is being run without any permit/authorization from the designated authority. On the perusal of the available records and as communicated by the Senior Manager Indian oil corporation vide his letter No. SSA/INQ Dated18-02-2010, it is established, that no oil company supplies diesel/Petrol to the said petrol Pump. Further investigation has revealed that a substantial quantity of kerosene oil, diverted from Rural Kashmir for the purpose of black marketing is dumped, and is sold illegally from this so called petrol pump.
After ascertaining the illegality of the said petrol pump, this office has accordingly intimated Deputy Commissioner Srinagar. On account of the investigation conducted in case FIR No. 7/2010 U/S120-B RPC 407,409,420 RPC and 3/7E.C (Amnd) Act. Of Police Station Sheer Garhi Srinagar, by Special Investigation Team South Srinagar, with regard to the pilferage and black marketing of K-oil in Kashmir Division, the Criminal labiality, is established prima facie against 15 persons. Police has arrested 8 persons in the instant case so far, they are:-
Tahir Ahmad Shoora (Manager Rafiquee & Co.) S/o Ali Mohammad Shoora, R/O Bemina Srinagar.
Mohammad Shafi Bhat (Peon Rafiquee & Co) S/O Abdul Aziz Bhat R/O Pampore.
Mohammad Shafi Darzi S/O Ghulam Nabi Darzi R/O Alochibagh Srinagar (Dealer)
Driver Tanker No. JK02W-3935 Mushtaq Ahmad Wani S/O Mohammad Ashiq Wani R/O Munnarabad Srinagar
Driver Tanker No. JK01F-4273 Shabir Ahmad Bhat S/O Ghulam Mohammad R/O Srund Kulgam
Driver Tanker No. JK02W-3925 Hilal Ahmad Sheikh S/O Abdul Ahad Sheikh R/O Rainawari Srinagar
Driver Tanker No. JK01F-4138 Mubarak Ahmad Bhat S/O Gull Mohammad Bhat R/O Srund, Kulgam
Driver Tanker No. JK02-3974Abdul Rehman Khan S/O Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Khan R/O Kralpora Budgam
The case shall be challaned in the court of law for the juridical determination very shortly. Further investigation pertaining to the role of employees of CAPD Department in the pilferage and black marketing of K-oil in Kashmir Division is going on.