SASHI: I'll get it by the evening. There won't be any
TEHELKA: Take it now, na? I can arrange because
I told them 3 o'clock I am getting all the documents in my
hand. I have told them for the full money.
SASHI: All the documents, in the sense, you will get
only the binocular and you will get the ammunitions…
SASHI: I didn't get the ammunitions catalogue. Speak
to the sahab. I told you to speak to the sahab.
Or that thing he wrote about the procurement plan…
SASHI: 150mm ammunition…for procurement, for so much
and so much amount. As in 21 cartridges. There are 21 cartridges
that are imported.
SASHI: That has been given.
SASHI: 25 ammunition, 66 ammunition, 135 ammunition…150
for Bofors. They import all these, na?
a matter of fact, Sashi himself was setting up different
channels for us that would take us right upto Defence
Minister George Fernandes and the then Minister of State
for Defence, Harin Pathak. He was using state party functionaries
of the BJP and Shiv Sena for lobbying with the politicians.
For army officials and bureaucrats, he used their personal
secretaries. Towards the end, Sashi's channels hit a roadblock.
In the meantime, we at Tehelka had already opened two-three
independent channels of our own which started bearing
fruit. One such operator we tapped was Lt. Colonel Sayal
(Retd). He was our conduit to many officers concerned
with procurement. Here, Sayal has fixed a meeting with
his old colleague Brigadier Iqbal Singh, PPO, Prospective
Procurement Officer, a crucial post under the Master General
Ordnance (MGO). Here is an excerpt from Brigadier Iqbal
Singh's first meeting with Tehelka at his home.
LT. COL. SAYAL: Actually Sir, West End International
is a firm, which is based in London. In London. So they have
got this night-vision devices, night-vision goggles and all
that. They have not entered into India so far, which they
are intending to. They have a project, so they have got the
assets to deal directly with manufacturers for Southeast Asia
and this South Africa. About that, they want to promote that.
So they have associated me also. I have got the brochures
with me also, in case you have some time, so just glance through
it. And if it is of any interest to you, for the defence forces.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: Night-vision devices?
TEHELKA: Night-vision devices…it will work minus 40.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: Minus 40? What spadework you've
done so far?
LT. COL. SAYAL: Spadework is that there is a requirement
for this kind of thing. CSF Thomson have got the order. Have
not been able to, but their product is not up to the mark.
So they are finding difficulties at the inspection stage itself.
And now as the range is required quite a few, eight-nine companies
are coming to this field. So this we secure. Further, this
thing can be given as this is the time-bound project. So the
aim is short-listing the name of the company; by seeing the
product. Rest we will discuss later, because we have very
little time left.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: You do like this…write a letter
giving the details of product, along with a brochure, and
you say that you are willing to give trials on no-cost basis.
No-cost, no-commitment basis, and as such your equipment should
days later, Brigadier Iqbal Singh meets the Tehelka undercover
investigation team for further talks at a Delhi five-star
hotel. He accepts Rs. 50,000 in bribes, advises West End
on how to proceed further in the matter of the HHTs and
agrees to lobby with Lt. Gen. Dhillon, Master General
Ordnance (MGO), and other army officers on behalf of West
End. He also impresses on us the importance of lobbying
with Major General P.S.K. Choudary of the Weapons & Equipment
(W.E.) division, as he is the most important at this stage.
IQBAL SINGH: You cultivate Choudary and GSO. These two
TEHELKA: That is my part. I will do it. That...P.S.K.
Choudary, that is your part.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: P.S.K. Choudary, I will try.
TEHELKA: Haan, please.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: That is...he doesn't come in my
chain of command.
TEHELKA: Yeah. Sir, now I given 50,000 bucks. If you
need more, you ask me. I will give you, no problem.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: See, it's like this. Your job should
TEHELKA: Yeah, naturally, naturally.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: I am not looking for…
TEHELKA: Yeah. That US job - give me that entire thing.
I will do it.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: One is not interested in money if
your job is not done.
TEHELKA: Give me that also. That I will do.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: All right.
TEHELKA: No problem.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: And my job is to look after…up to
MGO side. That is my department.
Brig Iqbal then spells out the commission that has to
be given to Gen. Dhillon.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: Cultivating MGO is my problem.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: But Choudary is not my department.
TEHELKA: But it is interconnected.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: I will try. I will find out somebody
from his country-cousin side, whether he is game or not otherwise.
TEHELKA: Yeah, okay.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: All right, na? For Choudary,
you also must find out somebody.
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.
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
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: No, then I will organise in his
TEHELKA: Not in the office or house. Outside in Delhi.
That is good.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: Let us see.
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
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.
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
TEHELKA: Small gift. That's all.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: Let us say I am not able to help
LT. COL. SAYAL (Very insistent): No problem.
TEHELKA: Sir, your mind is there with us.
BRIG. IQBAL SINGH: Mind is there, of course.
[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