Operation west end


TEHELKA: Yeah. I will also find out. General Ahluwalia is close to Choudary?  BRIG. IQBAL SINGH

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TEHELKA: Yeah. I will also find out. General Ahluwalia is close to Choudary? 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: No. 

TEHELKA: No. He told me that. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: Even I am not close to him. That is why I told you, I'll have to find somebody out. But Dhillon, yes, that is in my power. That meeting I will organise. 

TEHELKA: Okay. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: If it cannot be done outside, I will organise in his office. 

TEHELKA: No, not in office. That is a too dangerous thing. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: No, then I will organise in his house. 

TEHELKA: Not in the office or house. Outside in Delhi. That is good. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: Let us see. 

TEHELKA: Okay. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: General Dhillon is the boss of everything here. Even if somebody says 'yes', somebody will say 'no'. If one person in the chain says 'no', your case is doubtful by that much margin. 

TEHELKA: Okay, that General Ahluwalia said that Dhillon is not such a important person. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: No, why I'll tell you…what he said was…that it is a W.E. matter. General Choudary's matter. That is what…

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: That is what I'm saying. You must cultivate Choudary. It's a Weapon and Equipment matter, fine. But it doesn't end there. Now W.E. wants to import something, or do whatever it is…it is his branch, MGO's branch…General Dhillon's branch which puts a spoke in between. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: They just cannot get anything inside India. That is there. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: For example, we have imported some grenades. Okay? There were some range of 400-500 meters that were required to be achieved. That is only giving us 300. Now to accept that 300 or not to accept that 300…it is the…General Dhillon who plays the part.


* * *

TEHELKA: Sir, this…Gen. Dhillon, we can approach him? 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: That one can organise it. No problem. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: We will organize it. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: See, there is no single agency who is an authority of importing anything and whatever they want. That you must appreciate. 

TEHELKA: Yeah, exactly. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: If there are 10 agencies involved, everybody plays his role.

LT. COL. SAYAL: See…problem…the point is the file moves like this [gestures with his hand in regular forward intervals]. There are linkages. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: For the entire Indian Army, whosoever may be the importer, I am the person who is paying the money. 

TEHELKA: Okay. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: Whether it is Choudary or it is bloody DGPO or anybody else…

* * *

LT. COL. SAYAL: All that's fine, now whatever you have heard from Sir, you have to react to that. [to Brigadier Iqbal Singh] He's brought a small gift for you. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH (reacting to Tehelka offering him money): What for, yaar

LT. COL. SAYAL: Please, please. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: First let your job be done. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: No, no. 

TEHELKA: No sir, this is just a gift...small gift. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: For whom? Point is... 

TEHELKA: Small gift. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: Sir... 

LT. COL. SAYAL: If you have a problem taking it with you, I will deliver it at your place. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: You do like this…let your job be done first. 

TEHELKA: Small gift. That's all. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: Let us say I am not able to help you. Then? 


LT. COL. SAYAL (Very
 insistent): No problem. 

TEHELKA: Sir, your mind is there with us. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: Mind is there, of course. 

TEHELKA: Okay. 

[Gives him a few wads of money. Brigadier Iqbal Singh takes it and hands it to Sayal who picks up his briefcase in full view of camera and puts away the money, counting and arranging it.] 

TEHELKA: Please, fifty thousand is there. 

BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: What I'm saying…

LT. COL. SAYAL: Sir, it's like this, introduce the MGO to us. Oh sorry, introduce Choudary and then we will look around.

Lt. Colonel Sayal also takes us to Major General Manjit Singh Ahluwalia

Director General Quality Assurance. Gen. Ahluwalia starts off cautiously, 

then in no time is swinging deep in it. Though Ahluwalia's role kicks

in a little later, he advises West End on the matter.

MAJ. GEN. MANJIT SINGH AHLUWALIA: Currently they are taking from a French company already. 

TEHELKA: CSF-Thomson. 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: See what happens is, understand the systems. Before we start procuring, you carry out user trials. Having done the user trial, we start the procurement process, which has started. There is already a linkage. If you think anybody is doing it without linkages, it is stupid to believe. The linkage is there. It has started, it has been trial evaluated, found successful, it's been booked. Now why should that man put in a new bloody spoke? 

[Long pause] 


MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: It's already coming in. I doubt it, you can try it. Gen. P.S.K. Choudary is the person. Why should he do it, tell me? 

[Long pause] 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: See, it's already started.

* * *

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: Fine, no problem, I'm dealing with it in the sense…. You see, I don't do this procurement ex-import. That is capital work that is done by the ADG, W.E. Once it is introduced item, then we will place the indents. Then we will do it. Even if it is imported it will be done by PPO. If it is indigenous, we will do it here. As of now, it is still a W.E. item, and it is not likely. And at this juncture…let me tell you… Organisationally, not talking of the other benefits which you are suggesting for that person which he would also be getting from the other person. Even organisationally, they would not go about this task. It doesn't suit the organisation.

* * *

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: You have to create a network and let me tell you it has got, you know, because the carrot at the other end is big for everybody. You need very deep pockets. Let's be very clear about it. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: No, that is understood. That is the first step. 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: So if you want it, if you have that type of a thing only then venture into it…because you know why? Now understand, if you are talking about a deal which is 20 crore here, 60 crore there, make a profit of 5 crore,saala, if you come to my house to meet me on Diwali, you can't talk without bringing Blue Label. If you are talking of bloody making a couple of crores of rupees, you can't give me bloody Black Label also? Isn't it? Let's be very clear about it. 

TEHELKA: True fact, sir. 


MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: So, if, when you are talking big, you got to also project big. You have had access to me because you know me [pointing towards Sayal]. If under normal circumstances you want to meet with me tomorrow, you say…you are talking in terms of making a deal of a couple of crores, you can't tell me to come and have a meal with you at bloody DSOI. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: That's right, very right. 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: Then you have to say, "Sir, if you want that person…want to meet Gen. P.S.K. Choudary…" you say, "Sir, can we have dinner at Maurya Sheraton?" 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA (continuing): I am talking of the bare minimum. I am talking about when you come for Diwali, you come and say, "Sir, good evening, sir." Then you give me bottle of fucking…bloody…

LT. COL. SAYAL: RC…Hundred Pipers... 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: You know, be clear about it. And it's going on for donkey's years. And you're getting bloody small bits of information out of that chap. For…in two years, three years, a chap wants to know bloody up from there, "Yaar, I've already invested you so much. You tell me where is the file?" Now just to find out where the file is, and what is the position about it, it would have cost you easily 25-30 thousand rupees. 

TEHELKA: Barabar.

* * *

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: I've been here now two years, I must have met at least 35-40 people. Every other fucker knows bloody Putin. Everybody knows George Fernandes. Everybody knows bloody Putin, everybody knows bloody Saddam. Then they say "get this done for me now." 

[Pause] 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: And that…"here is a letter. I have got agency from bloody exports." There are 25 buggers who are carrying a letter from exports. This is big. The carrot at the other end is one bloody deal. This Kaun Banega Crorepati will go into fuckin' bloody… (all laugh) So, therefore, unless you are big…p


MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: It takes years to develop those contacts, it's an expensive habit to develop those contacts. It's because of a contact that he and I have over the years, that I am divulging some information. 

TEHELKA: Yes. 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: If it was yesterday's contact with, then why should I divulge you? If then your only way is by offering me an inducement, then it has to be a...the value of that inducement has to be appropriate. So, therefore, those chaps who are in the business of developing contacts, they were developing it for years. Before that, before they come and meet you, and it is that time when you don't need, when you are not asking me for anything, when you are not asking that General for Choudary...that you call him for dinner, that's the time he attends, but the result of it is, he is sitting in his place, that you tell the benefit of it is coming, not directly. 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: But this thermal imager also as I know. It isn't getting order. I will let you know. Give me about a week's time. I will move to Bangalore now...tomorrow and from there I am off to Hyderabad. I will let you know in a week's time. Okay? 

[Ahluwalia gets up and stands and moves a bit.] 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: Okay. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: Small gift. 

[Sayal goes near Ahluwalia and tries to hand him Rs. 50,000, which he accepts later.] 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: This is, this is... Sayal please. Don't be…

LT. COL. SAYAL: Okay, later. Then…

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: Okay. 

TEHELKA: Sir, I can move. 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: Sorry, yes, I will.

* * *

By this time, we had been introduced to Major General S.P. Murgai (of the DGQA) by Colonel Sayal. General Murgai had still sometime to go to his retirement and was on leave. He explains how the procurement process goes in the Indian Army, he promises to arrange meetings with MGO Lt. General Dhillon, the personal secretary of Minister of State Hiren Pathak and others.


MAJOR GENERAL S.P MURGAI: On that short-listing then they go in for new commercial bids. Okay? Now there you can…. So this is what is going to be done. At this stage of time, money doesn't play the role here. Because whether it is MGO or whether it is Defence Secretary…. Let me tell you one thing, because I have been dealing on day-to-day basis. They play no role at this point of time, because it is the users who have to indicate their preference. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: Sir. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: They have to say that…this is the item, which is more suitable to us, after it has gone through the field trials. As far as the technical evaluation is concerned, it is only going to be to check conforms to specifications; as per the specifications laid down or as per the manufacturers' specifications. Once the company is short-listed…okay? That is the time when some influence can be exercised. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: Sir.

* * *

TEHELKA: Before short-listing, you have to meet these people? 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Which people? 

TEHELKA: Sir. One is the MGO. You have to meet these people - MGO and PPO and DGQA. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: See, it is like this, at the moment DGQA doesn't….

TEHELKA: Okay, he told me DGQA is over. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Hmm? 

TEHELKA: That is not necessary now. But two people are important. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: See, at the moment DGQA is not in picturena? 


MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Don't go and knock at the wrong door. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: No, I am…he straight away contacted me. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Because he is not in the picture. They have not received the sample, then where is the question of technical? 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Now as far as the MGO is concerned, let me tell you one thing. On 27th he is going abroad. His son is in America. He is going for one-month leave. 

TEHELKA: Okay. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: He is going for one-month leave. 

TEHELKA: Before we can? 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: For one month he will be out. He will be leaving on the 27th. He is here till Diwali, because he wants Diwali gifts. Only a fool can go before that. Okay? He is going on the 27th, on his private visit. Fine? That's what it is. As far Deputy MGO is concerned, let me also give another input. He is already…he is waiting to move out. I think by end of November or 1st week of December, he should be going as a…

LT. COL. SAYAL: Okay sir, MGO is also retiring in April. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: In end of March. See point is, you get some more information. The point is very clear. When, let us say, I approach…let us say, on your behalf, he may talk to me. 

TEHELKA: Okay. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: He may talk to MGO. What do I tell him, "Sir, take this?" 

TEHELKA: Hmm. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Okay? On what basis? So, what I mean is let little…more through your contact, you have to get the information, what exactly is the present position of file. 

TEHELKA: Hmm. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Okay. That means the request of proposal which have come, they must be considering that. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: That's right, sir. 


MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: So if some eliminations they have done, something they must have analysed, that this is available, and this is not. If that analysis is done, then what is their analysis regarding you? 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: You understand? 

TEHELKA: I got it, it got it. I can follow that.

* * *

TEHELKA: We submitted Ranjit Issar. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Hmm? 

TEHELKA: IAS. Ranjit Issar, Joint Secretary, Ordnance. Procurement. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Now, if you are wanting to meet MGO, I can arrange a meeting. That's all. And then you can talk whatever you like. That can be done. Okay? So that's all for….

LT. COL. SAYAL: You can arrange wherever you like. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: His office. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: Whichever is the place. It will be difficult in the office. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Everythying is possible. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: No, otherwise we have to take care. Take care, I mean…

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: He'll inform himself. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: He'll inform himself? 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Who else do you want to meet? PPO? 

LT. COL. SAYAL: PPO and MGO. 

TEHELKA: And Maj. Gen. P.S.K. Choudary, Additional Director General, Weapons and Equipments. 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: It takes years to develop those contacts, it's an expensive habit to develop those contacts. It's because of a contact that he and I have over the years, that I am divulging some information. 

TEHELKA: Yes. 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: If it was yesterday's contact with, then why should I divulge you? If then your only way is by offering me an inducement, then it has to be a...the value of that inducement has to be appropriate. So, therefore, those chaps who are in the business of developing contacts, they were developing it for years. Before that, before they come and meet you, and it is that time when you don't need, when you are not asking me for anything, when you are not asking that General for Choudary...that you call him for dinner, that's the time he attends, but the result of it is, he is sitting in his place, that you tell the benefit of it is coming, not directly. 


MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: But this thermal imager also as I know. It isn't getting order. I will let you know. Give me about a week's time. I will move to Bangalore now...tomorrow and from there I am off to Hyderabad. I will let you know in a week's time. Okay? 

[Ahluwalia gets up and stands and moves a bit.] 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: Okay. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: Small gift. 

[Sayal goes near Ahluwalia and tries to hand him Rs. 50,000, which he accepts later.] 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: This is, this is... Sayal please. Don't be…

LT. COL. SAYAL: Okay, later. Then…

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: Okay. 

TEHELKA: Sir, I can move. 

MAJ. GEN. AHLUWALIA: Sorry, yes, I will.

* * *

By this time, we had been introduced to Major General S.P. Murgai (of the DGQA) by Colonel Sayal. General Murgai had still sometime to go to his retirement and was on leave. He explains how the procurement process goes in the Indian Army, he promises to arrange meetings with MGO Lt. General Dhillon, the personal secretary of Minister of State Hiren Pathak and others.

MAJOR GENERAL S.P MURGAI: On that short-listing then they go in for new commercial bids. Okay? Now there you can…. So this is what is going to be done. At this stage of time, money doesn't play the role here. Because whether it is MGO or whether it is Defence Secretary…. Let me tell you one thing, because I have been dealing on day-to-day basis. They play no role at this point of time, because it is the users who have to indicate their preference. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: Sir. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: They have to say that…this is the item, which is more suitable to us, after it has gone through the field trials. As far as the technical evaluation is concerned, it is only going to be to check conforms to specifications; as per the specifications laid down or as per the manufacturers' specifications. Once the company is short-listed…okay? That is the time when some influence can be exercised. 


LT. COL. SAYAL: Sir.

* * *

TEHELKA: Before short-listing, you have to meet these people? 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Which people? 

TEHELKA: Sir. One is the MGO. You have to meet these people - MGO and PPO and DGQA. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: See, it is like this, at the moment DGQA doesn't….

TEHELKA: Okay, he told me DGQA is over. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Hmm? 

TEHELKA: That is not necessary now. But two people are important. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: See, at the moment DGQA is not in picture, na? 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Don't go and knock at the wrong door. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: No, I am…he straight away contacted me. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Because he is not in the picture. They have not received the sample, then where is the question of technical? 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Now as far as the MGO is concerned, let me tell you one thing. On 27th he is going abroad. His son is in America. He is going for one-month leave. 

TEHELKA: Okay. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: He is going for one-month leave. 

TEHELKA: Before we can? 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: For one month he will be out. He will be leaving on the 27th. He is here till Diwali, because he wants Diwali gifts. Only a fool can go before that. Okay? He is going on the 27th, on his private visit. Fine? That's what it is. As far Deputy MGO is concerned, let me also give another input. He is already…he is waiting to move out. I think by end of November or 1st week of December, he should be going as a…

LT. COL. SAYAL: Okay sir, MGO is also retiring in April. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: In end of March. See point is, you get some more information. The point is very clear. When, let us say, I approach…let us say, on your behalf, he may talk to me. 


TEHELKA: Okay. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: He may talk to MGO. What do I tell him, "Sir, take this?" 

TEHELKA: Hmm. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Okay? On what basis? So, what I mean is let little…more through your contact, you have to get the information, what exactly is the present position of file. 

TEHELKA: Hmm. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Okay. That means the request of proposal which have come, they must be considering that. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: That's right, sir. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: So if some eliminations they have done, something they must have analysed, that this is available, and this is not. If that analysis is done, then what is their analysis regarding you? 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: You understand? 

TEHELKA: I got it, it got it. I can follow that.

* * *

TEHELKA: We submitted Ranjit Issar. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Hmm? 

TEHELKA: IAS. Ranjit Issar, Joint Secretary, Ordnance. Procurement. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Now, if you are wanting to meet MGO, I can arrange a meeting. That's all. And then you can talk whatever you like. That can be done. Okay? So that's all for….

LT. COL. SAYAL: You can arrange wherever you like. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: His office. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: Whichever is the place. It will be difficult in the office. 

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: Everythying is possible. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: No, otherwise we have to take care. Take care, I mean…

MAJ. GEN. MURGAI: He'll inform himself. 

LT. COL. SAYAL: He'll inform himself? 




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