Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, September 23
Industrialists in Focal Point areas are worried over the mushrooming of illegal tea stalls and khokhas in the area, where planning of several “criminal” activities were done, alleged businessmen.
Not only this, they believe that these khokhas have become a perfect place for drug peddlers to supply drugs to hundreds of truck drivers and labourers in the area.
Many cases of theft of costly material such as copper, aluminium, nickel and chrome have also been reported by the industrialists in the past. The industry wants the authorities to get these encroachments removed at the earliest so that they work in a tension-free atmosphere.
President of the Ludhiana Laghu Udyog Bharti Rajiv Jain, who has got his factory in the Focal Point, Phase V, said mainly all kinds of criminal activities were planned at tea stalls or khokhas here.
“Unscrupulous elements keep a regular watch on factories, its workers and watchmen. Thefts become easy if they connive with some insiders. Reports are lodged, some cases are solved and some remain unsolved. We get to know from other factory owners and our workers how drug peddlers visit the stalls and supply drugs to truck drivers or others. There is a nexus and everybody knows about it,” Jain said, adding that they work under continuous threat of drug addicts, drug peddlers and thieves.
CII president Rahul Ahuja said long time ago, a theft took place at their own factory unit and copper and nickel worth around Rs 7 lakh were stolen.
“Many such cases take place in the Focal Point areas on a regular basis. We have requested the authorities to get these encroachments removed so that the criminals do not find easy places to sit and watch activities in the industrial area,” Ahuja said.
Many Industrialists alleged that such activities were not possible without the information of police personnel. But why action is not taken against the nexus, they alleged.
Umesh Mistri (name changed), a worker, who visits the tea stalls during breaks, said many migrants and truck drivers gather at stalls when they get free.
“I get my regular beedi/gutkha from the khokha. People enquire about each other, about factory hours, what a particular factory manufactures, about employees and gate men, etc. We talk about our employers and salaries too,” he said.
However, there should be no problem if we exchange information only with each other,” he said.
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