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VICTIMISATION OF WHISTLEBLOWER SHRI S.D.SHINDE, ASSISTANT SECURITY OFFICER, MUMBAI PORT TRUST (MbPT), MUMBAI

Posted by ekavi on July 13, 2006

Please read the heart-rending story below :

VICTIMISATION OF WHISTLEBLOWER SHRI S.D.SHINDE, ASSISTANT SECURITY OFFICER, MUMBAI PORT TRUST (MbPT), MUMBAI

 

Shri S.D.Shinde, Security Officer, MbPT, Mumbai, is another example of an oasis in the desert of corruption. He was named as a chief conspirator for the thefts which he himself had exposed! He was arrested and put behind bars for more than a month by the corrupt police on the basis of statements of those very crooks whom he exposed!

 

Let us recall some of the noteworthy events portraying his disclosures and instances of his victimisation :

 

1)       Assisted the Assistant Director, Shri Bhimashankar, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in registering a case against a smuggler, Shri Chand and his associates in 1994.

 

2)       Exposed pilferage of imported oil between 1994 and 1997. A few of the accused were arrested and part of the oil was recovered, but the main accused remained scot-free. His confidential report got leaked to one of the main culprits, Shri Narsing Modi, who used it to file a frivolous defamation case against him. The then Dy.Chairman of MbPT, Shri R.R.Sinha provided tacit support to the culprit by refusing to defend his own officer. Finally, the court absolved Shri S.D.Shinde. His suggested preventive measure of arranging weighments inside the docks instead of outside was not paid heed to.

 

3)       Reported theft of chemicals (tetracycline) to the police in 1997 and the accused were arrested, but instead of getting a pat on his back, he was asked to explain his conduct by the then, Chief Security Officer (CSO) of MbPT, Shri P.R.Gaikwad.

 

4)       Blew the cover on illegal clearance of ship-stores & other materials from foreign-going vessels using forged documents from time to time by smugglers Shri Chand & others, between 1994 and 2003, but no concrete action was initiated by the authorities. The smugglers operated thru’ firms registered with MbPT. In 2004, a senior police inspector was arrested by the anti-corruption bureau, while accepting a bribe from one of the accused Shri Majeed, an associate of smuggler, Shri Chand.

 

5)       Discovered and reported a case of fraud in 1998, relating to import of machinery worth Rs.6 crores, involving undeclared & excess cargo. Despite hypothecation to SBI as a security against its loan, the MbPT auctioned it at a throwaway price of Rs.14 lacs only. Instead of nominating Shri S.D.Shinde for an award, the then Dy.Chairman, Shri R.R.Sinha issued him a show-cause notice, nine months later in 1999, asking him to explain his conduct!

 

6)       Caught Shri Sayyed Karim, red-handed, while trying to sneak out 150 gold bars valued at about Rs.70 lacs in 1999.

 

7)       Submitted confidential reports including photos, during end of 2002, on encroachments of illegal garages, service centers, vendors and parkings in the MbPT premises indicating connivance of MbPT & police officials. Once again history repeated itself. The Traffic Manager, Shri C.S.Murty, issued a memo to Shri S.D.Shinde.

 

8)       Soon thereafter in early 2003, he was chargesheeted on frivolous grounds such as for assisting customs & CBI (in violation of Customs Act, CVC Manual & Major Port Trusts Act) by his corrupt superiors in MbPT.

 

An entry was made in his annual confidential report (ACR), “The officer is very sincere but extra inquisitive”.

 

9)       In July, 2003, three containers loaded with imported cargo landed from Dubai at MbPT. Shri S.D.Shinde was transferred to the MbPT hospital before the said containers were opened and found empty. Soon thereafter, his entry in the cargo handling area of the docks was restricted by the Traffic Manager, Shri C.S.Murty & the CSO, Shri R.N.Shaikh of MbPT. To top it all, he was suspended in November, 2003, 10 months after being chargesheeted on frivolous grounds in January, 2003, as a result of an inquiry initiated in 1999! To the best of our knowledge no investigation has been done in this matter so far.  

 

10)   Even after suspension, he was not allowed to rest in peace. In July, 2004, another frivolous chargesheet was issued to him for doing his duty by visiting the offices of customs, police, head office, head quarters, vigilance department for follow-up actions or assisting them in their investigations as required by them.

 

11)   In February 2005, Shri S.D.Shinde submitted a well researched report on increase in theft & smuggling activities in the port area including theft of chemicals, bulk drugs, etc. by tampering with and replacing seals of loaded import / export container cargo under report of ‘shortlanding-seal intact but cargo missing’. He also furnished details of specific containers as well as names, addresses, etc. of some of the main history sheeters such as Barkat Ali, Paravej, Amarsingh Rajput (Tiger) who had connections with renowned smugglers such as Zia & Iqbal Mirchi. Atleast 5 FIRs were registered as a consequence of this report and another subsequent report by an importers’ association about short landing in 14 containers. Part of these events appeared as news in the Indian Express, Mumbai edition, dated 22nd March, 2005 and 29th May, 2005.

 

12)   The climax of this story is that a conspiracy was hatched against Shri S.D.Shinde by those very crooks who were involved in these thefts, with the connivance of other corrupt MbPT and police officials. Only some of those actually involved in the crimes were made accused & chargesheeted by the police, whereas many others with whose connivance the thefts occurred in the container yard   such as certain MbPT & police officials on duty, certain transporters and certain buyers of the stolen goods,  were simply made witnesses.

 

Shri S.D.Shinde who blew the whistle and reported these thefts (under the govt.’s resolution for protection of Whistleblowers) was falsely implicated by some such witnesses as a chief conspirator; as a result of which his anticipatory bail was denied and he was falsely arrested & chargesheeted. This is a classic example of ‘Ulta chor kotwal ko datey’. Shri S.D.Shinde was not responsible for guarding the area where the thefts occurred since he was posted as a security incharge of MbPT hospital till the date of his arrest. Also, he was down with jaundice, underwent treatment at the MbPT hospital and was on sick leave for almost 2 months during this period.

 

Who else could have been a better sacrificial goat than the chief impediment to the greed of the corrupt? They did not want him to reach their necks so they decided to cut his. If we feel he deserves to be encouraged, supported and protected we must do what the system has failed to do. What the MbPT bosses or the CVC or the Home Minister could not do – first pat him on his back and then help him fight for justice.

 

You may call him on (0)-98693-79577.


Rajesh Darak

Mera Bharat Mahaan…Nahi Hai,
Per Yeh Dosh Mera Hai.

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