Case of Ex­plod­ing Bribes

Con­trac­tor who sup­plied in­fe­rior bomb suits is ar­rested. What about the six po­lice of­fi­cers he al­legedly bribed?

India Today - - NATION - By Ki­ran Tare

On Au­gust 13, the Eco­nomic Of­fences Wing of the Mum­bai Po­lice ar­rested the Di­rec­tor of Techno Trade Im­pex, Bi­mal Agar­wal, for sup­ply­ing in­fe­rior qual­ity bomb suits to the Ma­ha­rash­tra Po­lice. Ex­perts be­lieve that his ar­rest will end up nail­ing six po­lice of­fi­cers who al­legedly took bribes from him while award­ing the con­tract. The of­fi­cers were at­tached to the of­fice of the di­rec­tor gen­eral of po­lice at that time. Home Min­is­ter R. R. Patil had an­nounced last year that a de­part­men­tal in­quiry had been ini­ti­ated against the ac­cused of­fi­cers, whose names have been with­held. The in­quiry is still pend­ing.

Af­ter the 26/ 11 ter­ror­ist at­tack opened chinks in the po­lice’s ar­mour, Ma­ha­rash­tra Po­lice de­cided to buy bomb suits and To­tal Con­tain­ment Ve­hi­cles ( TCV). Agar­wal had won four ma­jor con­tracts worth Rs 25 crore in 2009. It in­cluded a con­tract for 82 bomb suits for Rs 6.25 crore, TCVS for Rs 6.25 crore, ro­bots for bomb dis­posal for Rs 2.5 crore and multi- func­tional belts for Rs 10 crore. He sup­plied the ma­te­rial in 2010, but the gov­ern­ment re­jected it for not conforming to qual­ity stan­dards. Agar­wal had ac­quired 36 su­pe­rior qual­ity bomb suits from South Africa. The re­main­der, of in­fe­rior qual­ity, were bought from China. A case of cheat­ing was filed against him in May this year. Agar­wal had filed an ap­pli­ca­tion for an­tic­i­pa­tory bail, claim­ing that he was im­pli­cated in the case at the be­hest of se­nior IPS of­fi­cer P. K. Jain. How­ever, the court re­jected the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Agar­wal, in a sting op­er­a­tion in 2010 by TV news net­work HEAD­LINES TO­DAY, ad­mit­ted on cam­era that he had bribed six po­lice of­fi­cers to get the con­tract. “When did I tell you that I did not bribe any­one? I did. The share was di­vided. Once I bagged the con­tract and was paid money by the gov­ern­ment, I paid cuts to the of­fi­cers con­cerned out of the money,” he had said. The scam came to light when it was no­ticed that Mum­bai Air­port had pur­chased the same TCV at Rs 2.5 crore. A BJP MLA from Nag­pur, Deven­dra Phad­navis, had found the bomb suits ly­ing in a gov­ern­ment ware­house in Malad, Mum­bai. “Agar­wal’s ar­rest is not enough. The case can­not be fully cracked till all the ac­cused po­lice of­fi­cers are ar­rested. The gov­ern­ment should make names of all the ac­cused po­lice of­fi­cers pub­lic,” says Phad­navis.

AP PHOTO

APO­LICE­MAN WITH­OUT BOMB SUIT DE­FUSES A BOMB IN PUNE

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