A BJP councillor and her husband have been accused of seizing equipment from Rajinder Da Dhaba — including “fridges, grills, service counters, counter tops and gas cylinders” — and refusing to return it to the owner and the management unless they shelled out Rs 5 lakh per month.
A complaint in this regard was lodged at Safdarjung Enclave police station on August 10 by Ghanshyam Das, who is part of the restaurant’s management. The complaint mentions “two separate incidents” wherein BJP councillor from the Safdarjung Enclave ward, Radhika Abrol Fogat, and her husband, Ashish Fogat, allegedly visited the “commercial premises and the restaurants with officials from the MCD”, seizing “critical equipment”. The two alleged incidents took place on July 22 and August 3.
Radhika and her husband denied the allegations. Speaking to The Sunday Express, Ashish Fogat said, “There is no case of extortion. The entire thing is a fabrication. It was a clear case of encroachment. What is this talk of equipment that was seized? Can the MCD enter a restaurant’s premises and seize stuff? No. This was encroachment and we took action.”
The complaint alleges that the restaurant has been “specifically targeted” by MCD officials under “blatantly false… pretext of unauthorised tehbazaari (selling products on pavements)”. It adds, “We have been operating for 15 years without any such accusations… our equipment was seized and loaded into trucks brought by Radhika and Ashish Fogat in an ad hoc manner. No inventory was provided to us.”
The complaint alleges that when the restaurant’s owner and management approached Radhika and her husband, seeking the release of their equipment, Ashish told them that he “can get the equipment released at a cost of Rs 5 lakh paid to him”. After the second seizure on August 3, another attempt was made to speak to the two of them to release the equipment. But the owner and management was told that “if they want to have the equipment released, they will have to pay Mrs and Mr Fogat Rs 5 lakh per month”, the complaint states.
The complaint requests police to “take necessary action to accept this complaint on record and register an FIR against the accused under the IPC provisions relating to extortion (Section 383), criminal intimidation, mental torture and harassment, among others”. “We have received the complaint and will look into it,” Additional DCP (south) Chinmoy Biswal said.