The Telegraph
Friday , February 21 , 2014
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Meet DSP Singh, the cop squatter
- Bokaro Steel official helpless after break-in

Bokaro, Feb. 20: When the law enforcer breaks the law, he does it best. Proving this adage in true Bollywood style, three days ago, Bokaro DSP Ravindra Kumar Singh forcibly occupied a company bungalow meant for a senior Bokaro Steel (BSL) official who had received an allotment and was waiting for a whitewash before moving in.

DSP Singh flaunted the might-is-right theory to force his way to the sprawling quarter No. 25 at Sector IC, cocking a snook at BSL deputy general manager Amrendu Prakash, who was allotted the official residence from his SAIL-run company as a valid perk.

Prakash went back to his original quarters after police guards abused him and prevented his entry.

Though the DSP broke the lock and law just opposite Bokaro SP Jitendra Singh’s bungalow and senior BSL town administration officials have lodged a complaint with the SP, nothing has budged.

“We fear police harassment. The DSP is openly stating that if anyone tries to dislodge him, top steel company officials should get ready to go to jail,” a senior BSL official said.

When The Telegraph team visited the bungalow, the guards posted at the gates said it belonged to DSP saab, who said, “This steel company residence is mine now.”

DSP Singh may be perhaps the most flamboyant encroacher of a BSL company residence, but scores of policemen and district officials have done so before.

According to norms, BSL allots 341 quarters in DC pool for district officials and 415 in police pool for personnel posted in Bokaro at a minimal rent.

But present records say policemen, including DSP Singh, occupy 620 quarters. According to simple maths, policemen are illegally holding on to 205 quarters of the steel plant.

Bureaucrats are more law-abiding than policemen as only 16 officials are encroaching company quarters.

Either policemen break the locks and occupy the quarters or they retain them even after they are transferred or retired. They use company quarters to stay or rent out to tenants, including outstation students.

According to a senior officer of BSL town administration, the 205 illegally occupied company quarters are mostly at Sectors I, III, IX, XI and XII.

CBI joint-director Anil Palta, now posted in Delhi, who has served as Bokaro SP and as DIG, had launched the only eviction drive against policemen in 2003.

“I had directed policemen forcefully occupying company quarters to vacate them immediately or else face suspension and withheld salaries. The strategy worked. Now, I hear things are back to square one,” he told The Telegraph over phone from Delhi.

Present Bokaro SP Jitendra Singh, DSP Singh’s neighbour, promised to “personally look into the matter”. When and how stayed unanswered.

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