Fake excise inspectors in nexus with armed policeman loot and harass tourists in Kullu
KULLU-Although, Himachal Pradesh is peace –loving tourist destination, but still visitors are easy target for frauds and for some corrupt law enforcement personals. In a fresh case, some tourists have alleged harassment and fraud by the hands of some unidentified men who pretended to be excise inspectors near check-pose in Bajaura, Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh. These men were accompanied and assisted by a policeman, who was carrying a gun. The tourists informed that along with his four friends Mr.Vishwajeet Bhattacharya came to Manali from Bangalore to spend a weekend in Kullu.
On May 19, they were on their way to Manali when their car was stopped by a few people including a man in police uniform near Bajaura at about 7:30 PM. Five to six other cars were also lined up for checking. They checked all vehicles including Mr.Vishwajeet’s car. They found two liquor bottles (Black label) worth Rs. 7000 in the car. Surprisingly, the policeman confiscated the bottles. Tourists argued that it’s legal to store and transport two bottles and even showed them the bills. None of them were drunk either, said tourists. On being objected for their unlawful behavior, the men including the policeman started threatening them in abusing language and said “andar thok denge ek mahine ke liye ( We will put you behind bars for a month)”. They snatched the bottles despite resistance from the victims.
Neither they gave any challan slip or evidence of confiscation of the liquor bottles, nor showed their identity cards. The tourists were able to read the name of the policeman on the name plate that said Sanjeev Kumar, who also carried a gun. The men fled in van while the policeman assisted them all the while. After the men disappeared, the policeman simply denied knowing them. However, tourist said it was the policeman who had stopped the car and said it was an excise raid.
The policeman simply denied any discussion over the matter saying, “maine koi baat nhe karni kisi se (I do not wish to talk to anyone about this matter)”.
The victims said the check post has CCTV cameras installed, and therefore they have requested the police department to provide the footage so that the culprits could be identified and punished for harassing and unlawfully robbing them of costly possessions. The victims are awaiting reply from the police headquarter, Kullu.
Kullu is one of the most popular tourism destinations for both domestic and foreign tourists and travelers. Such incidents threaten the sense of safety among visitors and bring bad name to the region.