Petrol outlet dealer alleges injustice

1:32 PM, Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Hindustan Petroleum CorporationMangaluru : State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL) has been accused of harassing and blackmailing a petroleum product dealer belonging to Scheduled Caste, who is operating company-owned outlet at Mudigere in Chikkamagaluru district.

M.D. Prakash, dealer of Genuine Petro Point, Mudigere, is on a hunger strike along with family in front of HPCL’s regional office here. He said his dealership was in partnership with H.D. Dasharath. When Mr. Dasharath owed more than Rs. 25 lakh to HPCL, the company stopped fuel supplies to the dealership. Mr. Dasharath conducted the transactions and the company interacted with him, and not with Mr. Prakash, the original dealer.

The Rs. 25 lakh due was the amount incurred by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) towards purchase of diesel, which had been credited to Mr. Dasharath’s personal account, he alleged.

HPCL in a statement here said that it was not aware of anyone other than the appointed dealer – Mr. Prakash. It said Mr. Prakash had sent a proposal for financial partnership with Mr. Dasharath in September 2013, but the application was not in the right format.

It said that ever since Rs. 25 lakh was due to HPCL, it had been coaxing Mr. Prakash to make the payment.

Meanwhile, in a conciliatory meeting held by Mangaluru South MLA J.R. Lobo, company representatives said they had to obtain permission from higher officials. Mr. Prakash agreed to temporarily withdraw the strike.

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