Mangaluru, May 14: Dharna was staged on Wednesday May 13th, in front of Hindustan Petroleum Company Limited (HPCL) office at Urwa Stores here, by Prakash, a dealer of HPCL petrol bunk in Mudigere, with his wife and two children along with two other family members, alleging that he was being wrongly accused and punished for an act done by another person and urged for justice.
Speaking to the media, Prakash narrated the torment he underwent. He said, in 2007, he became dealer of HPCL petrol bunk in Mudigere of Chikkamagaluru district. This business option was given by the Indian government especially for the empowerment of SC/ST communities. The officials introduced me to a person named Dasharath and assigned him to our community’s petrol bunk business.
Dasharath was an innominate assigned to look after the petrol bunk when I was the dealer. HPCL said that I did not have the requiredfunds and to fulfil this necessity, they introduced Dasharath. Later they made him as the main person at the petrol bunk. I am being blackmailed. From two years HPCL has not put any money into my account and everything is deposited into Dasharath’s account. HPCL should hand over Dasharath to the police. HPCL officials will go to jail for bringing in an innominate from another caste into our community business. There is an option to request for another person to join hands in the business if I cannot continue. HPCL officials made me write a request letter in this regard, and after giving the letter, there was no communication from them, he said.
He said, the KSRTC buses used to fill fuel at my petrol bunk and had an outstanding amount of Rs 25 lakhs. This amount was paid to Dasharath by KSRTC, but instead of handing it over to HPCL, he absconded with the money. Now I am blamed for it and the HPCL has shut down the petrol bunk, alleged Prakash.
Company officials often assign innominate persons to run their business, and this is happening with all the oil companies and not just HPCL. Transactions amounting to nearly Rs 1.6 crore were done in the name of Dasharath and all the money has gone to his account, he said.
The truth will be traced only after the matter is investigated by the cyber branch. Mobile phones and computers of all the officials should be examined. Since November 27th, 2013, the petrol bunk remains closed and till now, even after two years, the officials are not opening their mouths, even in front of the police.
We do not have any other source of income. These officials have not given any letter directly accusing me of defrauding Rs 25 lakhs, but instead they are punishing me for silly reasons. They have also said that till I pay Rs 25 lakhs, they will not resume the petrol bunk operations, he said.
The officials are warning me that they will auction my house for not paying the BSNL telephone bill of Rs 100. Rs 25 lakhs paid by KSRTC belongs to the government of India. Instead of filing complaint against Dasharath and getting him arrested, the officials are threatening me. There is no proof to claim that the money was given to me, he said.
The sales inspection report has been signed by Dasharath and not by me. When Dasharath was made as a partner with me, he began to get all the information from HPCL and after a few days, Dasharath began handling all the business, said Prakash.
I have even received threat calls. After lodging a complaint on January 1st, 2014 regarding the threat calls, I got called investigation and on the 28th of the same month, I received one more threat call from underworld don Ravi Poojary warning that he would kill all my family members. When the investigation was going on, HPCL officials pressurised the police department and later the police said that the call was made from a coin phone, he claimed.
I wish that my petrol bunk is re-opened. The actual culprits should be punished. I am ready to face the punishment if I have done any crime. I do not have any link with Dasharath, he said.
Prakash pleading for euthanasia said, there are two rules to follow when taking up dealership under SC/ST norms. First one is that we cannot do any other business, and second, we cannot go anywhere else leaving the business behind. I am suffering for no fault of mine. Till now, I have approached all the HPCL officials and even the police. If I had Rs 25 lakhs why would I sit protesting on the footpath? No meeting were held between me and the officials. I do not understand what is going on, he said.