January 2, 2018
The folksy `fence itself eating the crop’ came true when the anti-graft organisation Arappor Iyakkam caught a few police officers red-handed who ate for free at a restaurant at T Nagar and put up details on social media.
Hotel owners admit that it is common practice among a section of uniformed police officials to come to restaurants and tea stalls and eat without paying.
In this case, the Iyakkam activists posted the bill details on social media sought responses from people who had to face such issues.
Iyakkam’s Chandramohan visited a hotel at T Nagar this morning with some of his relatives for breakfast and noticed a few policemen both from traffic and law and order wings having food and leaving without paying the bill. Chandramohan said, “I was surprised to see them leaving without paying the bill. Then I went and enquired with a staff there who said this happened quite often. Daily at least 50 such officers have food from there and leave without paying. At times, they even take away parcels for higher officials what was the staff there said.”
Chandramohan took pictures of the bills and posted them on social media. He attributed the action of some of the officials to arrogance but added that some of the hoteliers too, who broke the law, were offering the food free of cost as bribe. Some hoteliers might not be following the rules and needed officers to turn a blind eye to some of their violations, he said.
“A few months ago, a vadapav stall owner at Basant Nagar had to undergo such harassment. We shot a video of a policeman having snacks from the stall and not paying for it. This irked the officer who began harassing the shopkeeper. Later, he put up barricades in front of the shop to harass him further. We shot a video of that too and posted it on social media. Naming and shaming such people and creating awareness is the only way to stop this,” adds Chandramohan
He said he would take this up with higher officials and wait for their response. The hotel was, however, not ready to respond, though the post received quick responses online.
A user Shiva Kumar said, “This is happening almost everywhere. I have seen many traffic cops approaching nearby hotel for free lunch and breakfast. They jump the queue at the parcel counter and get the material while others watch on. I spoke to the owner asking why they could not stop this. But he expressed helplessness and said he would face charges of violating parking rules.”
Another user Prassana Shankar said, “Yes this happens. The police once asked me to sponsor 150 plus biriyanis for some party workers arrested. But I insisted that I be paid for it and the payment came in instalments.”
One user wanted this to be posted on the recently launched app of Rajinikanth and know his response.
When The Covai Post spoke to a policeman, he said that when they were deployed on duty outside their place of work they were given food allowance. If the duty was at their place of work, then would have to spend on their own for food.