It was reliably learnt that ‘insiders’ within the Railways are acting behind such malpractices and illegal activities, particularly on Kharagpur and Chakradharpur Divisions of SER since times immemorial
Adityapur: Hoodlums have captured as many as 25 railway quarters near Adityapur station and let them out on rent since the past two years, claim residents, also alleging that the authorities were doing nothing about it.
Of the 325 quarters meant for grade IV railway employees, 25 were under the control of goons who run this racket. Tatanagar engineering department, under Chakradharpur railway division, which looks after the affairs related to its residential quarters, is allegedly silent on the issue.
Railway Protection Force (RPF) was also not intervening even though the goons forcibly occupy quarters and rent them out to people such as vegetable vendors, workers engaged in Adityapur industrial area and autorickshaw drivers for anything between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500. According to sources, whenever any quarters is vacated, goons break open the locks and lay claim to it. A couple of days later, they let out the vacant quarters on rent. Of the two goons mainly running the racket, residents named one, Pandu Mukhi.
Though the two-roomed quarters are ill maintained, they have 24/7 water and power and are only about 1km from posh Bistupur, thus ensuring a steady stream of aspiring tenants. “But, these are not railway employees, and hence unauthorised tenants,” said a resident who did not want to be named. “We raised the issue before railway officials, but nothing was done. We live in fear.” Inspector of works (IOW), Adityapur, Kamal Mitra, who is directly responsible for the quarters, said he had joined on August 29 and was not aware of any such racket. “I will look into the matter,” he said.
Mitra’s predecessor Mukesh Kumar Bhagat admitted to the encroachment but claimed he did his utmost to remove the squatters with the RPF’s help. “Earlier, over two dozens quarters had been occupied by goons. I took the necessary steps to remove them. By the end of my tenure, I think only 10 quarters were occupied,” he claimed. RPF inspector at Tatanagar, R.K.Mishra, when asked, passed the buck to the IOW. “But we will do the needful to ensure that the quarters are free of squatters,” he said.
Dawood Ibrahim of the East – This RPF Inspector working at Kharagpur Wagon Shop sold Railway Scrap, vacant Railway Lands
On Kharagpur Division, one RPF Inspector by name Md.I. Ansari reportedly sold various bits of Railway lands to public claiming that he is authorised by Railways to sell the lands. It is learnt that this RPF inspector is closely associated with convicted Trinamum MLA Sohrab Ali in Railway scrap theft case, and has been actively involved in selling the Iron scrap from the Wagon Shop at Kharagpur since 3 years. He has also amassed wealth excessively to a tune of Rs.15-18 Crores and his monthly income on the illegal sales of scrap from Wagon Shop itself stood approx. Rs.10 Lakhs per month. A lot of complaints are lodged against this RPF Inspector. However the lethargic and lackadaisical attitude of the Divisional Railway administration and the Wagon Shop administration at Kharagpur are leading to undeterred perennial thefts by this RPF Inspector. Hope CWE/Kharagpur Wagon Shop will seriously look into this matter immediately, says public and staff working at Kharagpur Wagon Shop.
Left demands privilege motion against Sohrab Ali in Railway Scrap theft case
The Left today demanded a privilege motion against the Asansol judge who had convicted Trinamul MLA Sohrab Ali in a railway scrap theft case.
Speaker Biman Banerjee has said he is yet to receive any communication regarding the verdict. The Left legislators argued that the verdict amounted to contempt of the House as the Assembly had not been informed about it.
“Twenty days have passed since the court announced its verdict but the Assembly has not been informed. This is a serious matter and the Speaker should seek an explanation,” said Gouranga Chatterjee, a CPM MLA from Pandaveswar in Burdwan.
The Speaker read out the motion and said he would give his ruling later.