June 22, 2021
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Tehelka's Operation West End

Complete transcripts of the film

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Tehelka's Operation West End

{It all started with Senior Section Officer P. Sashi, in the Ministry of Defence, wanting to make some money from arms dealers. We at Tehelka.com floated a fictitious arms manufacturing company, based in London, called West End International. We were in search of a product whose indent existed in the Indian Army. We also wanted to get an entry into the lowest end of the defence chain and work our way upwards through the Indian scenario of graft. Here Sashi, affter getting a monetary incentive, takes us to Brigadier Anil Sehgal's house in New Delhi. Sehgal is the deputy director in DGOS, a crucial army procurement post. Brigadier Sehgal and P. Sashi give us the two things that we need - a defence product and an entry into the gravy train.}

SASHI MENON (to Sehgal): Today we got that Malaysian binoculars. QA manual. Quality Assurance…call it as manual type. I think you might not have seen. Today there…there is a bunch of…one book, booklet is there. Sponsored by Malaysia…. BRIG. ANIL SEHGAL: I know. I've seen that.

SASHI: Haan.
BRIG. SEHGAL: …in which ADC has written that this should be handed over to W.E.
SASHI: Haan, W.E. Of course.
TEHELKA: Sir, you have to tell us what are the things which, what we should do…because…this is a field…
BRIG. SEHGAL: This is a very vast field. It's a very, very vast field.

TEHELKA: We are the people who have absolutely no…

[Sashi comes and sits next to Sehgal.]


BRIG. SEHGAL (continuing where he left off): There is an annual requirement…what I foresee…at present, of present equipment of…about 10,000 II tubes per year. And in the next four to five years I have not yet calculated.

TEHELKA: Huge purchases. And those people who are geared…
BRIG. SEHGAL: …good period. I stay in the background…. What I am telling you, don't discuss it with anyone. It's just between…not meant for your ears also, but then…

SASHI: That way you can put in a peg and prepare it.
BRIG. SEHGAL: If you can find someone to manufacture the ammunition. That 's also in a big way.

TEHELKA: Where do you want me to go…from Russia, Israel? I have got base in New York, I have got a base in Canada, Argentina, Chile I have got.

BRIG. SEHGAL: See, now these II tubes…
TEHELKA: France. They'll be coming to you.

BRIG. SEHGAL: France they've been happily...I'll be very frank. You have to break this…this thing…of BE-Delft. BE-Delft is a PSU, which was…India invested. As of late, there has been a certain policy that nothing would be imported. There are many people who are really interested in that. So you have to get the nexus broken up at the top. And this BE-Delft thing…

TEHELKA: If I become their authorized…
BRIG. SEHGAL: But BE-Delft is not taking anyone else.

BRIG. SEHGAL: BE-Delft is Bharat Electrical (sic) Delft. Delft is Holland.
TEHELKA: Holland. Okay.

BRIG. SEHGAL: Holland has branched out from itself after the sanctions. US sanctions. What you have to do is get little open...because they have been talking big. Yeah, we can do this much. But he [referring to SASHI] is aware of it, how much less. They have been taking us, taking us for a ride. And somehow the bureaucracy also. And things have been badly manipulated in the Ministry. I'll be very frank with this. Things have been manipulated in the Ministry that…delay things deliberately, to suit them.

[Drinks arrive. They toast each other]

BRIG. SEHGAL: He doesn't have…there are so many other things also which are coming in this. Like you have spares. I can give you which spares' indent was made. I can give you the last procurement price. Generally what happens, what the scene is. They are not aware till the last minute what rate it was taken at. That I can calculate and you will also do. Everyone has been coming up with an offer. But I said, "Look, first give me 10 lakhs, then we will talk."
TEHELKA: If they are not ready to place the information then the question of talking further does not arise. Who wants to discuss the future? Sir, in this I, my people are very clear. They have straight away said that "You go ahead and you be a part of the venture." It's not as if I am separate…would need a guide.

BRIG. SEHGAL: I can help in so many things. I will tell you where to go, whom to meet.
TEHELKA: Everything…meaning…you tell me everything.

BRIG. SEHGAL: But then, see, I can show you the way.
TEHELKA: Bilkul.

BRIG. SEHGAL: But you'll have to move on your own.
TEHELKA: Yes, yes, sir. Once you show us the way, we'll automatically follow it.

{Soon enough comes a demand to be entertained in a five-star hotel. Brigadier Sehgal comes there with a Lt. Colonel Sharma, who is an army officer posted in the Air Force procurement section. Here, they are entertained and disclose how to proceed }

TEHELKA: Sir, I want to ask…another one thing. One Mr. B. S. Yadav sitting in the Air Headquarters. It's a foreign cell. Sales he is dealing, I think in that.
LT. COL. SHARMA: They have got their own procurement. They are basically dealing with Russians directly.
LT. COL. SHARMA: Because those kind of PNCs [Price Negotiation Committee] and negotiations are done at the ministry level. We don't involve ministry in our world. We do it directly.
BRIG. SEHGAL: This behan chod, they've done a very smart thing. He has kept everything with him.
LT. COL. SHARMA: Fuck it, no CDA, nobody. We issue the tender, call the bloody parties, do the PNC, give the supply order. Screw you.

TEHELKA: Sir, this thing you have said, this we can…in this whatever you say, we can get everything done. We will…
LT. COL. SHARMA: No, but I told you. We are basically dealing with proprietory items. You have a tie-up with those people.

TEHELKA: We will get the tie-up done. With whoever you want, we will get a tie-knot, we'll get anything done.
LT. COL. SHARMA: All right.

TEHELKA: You tell us, you will only have to tell us who we should tie with and who we should knot up with, who we should tie the 'naada' with. We will do everything. And whatever you ask, from a pin to anything you wish…
LT. COL. SHARMA: Thursday…on Thursday come to Room No. 221 at Vayu Bhawan.

LT. COL. SHARMA: Don't they give four options in [Kaun Banega] Crorepati?
TEHELKA: Yeah, okay, okay, okay.

LT. COL. SHARMA: We'll give you 10 options. The rest of the calculations you will do.
TEHELKA: Yes, yes. All that's our work.

BRIG. SEHGAL: So, I will give you the details of the ammunition immediately.

BRIG. SEHGAL: The biggest one.
TEHELKA: Okay, okay, okay. That one. If you have understood the last line.

SASHI: Sir's Air Force thing is there…

BRIG. SEHGAL: That I have said. How much ammunition we need…you'll go crazy trying to find out. Behan chod…who will supply this much stuff!
SASHI: Yes, the way BE-Delft is roaming around. Where will they get it?

{After enjoying the hospitality of West End International at a five-star hotel, Brigadier Sehgal demands Rs. 2 lakh to give further documents relating to the procurement of Hand-Held Thermal cameras and other equipment that West End might be interested in supplying to the Indian Army. He accepts Rs. 20,000 and a little while later another Rs. 20,000. He also advises on how to proceed in the matter of bidding for the Hand-Held Thermal cameras .}

TEHELKA: We have apologized for one thing, sir, that whatever is happening, we are going at a slow pace, but you can be rest assured…

[Gives money to Sehgal]

BRIG. SEHGAL: How much is it?
TEHELKA: This is 20 [thousand], sir.

BRIG. SEHGAL: What will I do with this?
TEHELKA: Whatever is coming, as it is coming, we are giving it to you slowly, slowly.
BRIG. SEHGAL: Let me tell you something. You keep this. Give it all tomorrow.

BRIG. SEHGAL: There are some principles in life.
TEHELKA: Haan, haan.

BRIG. SEHGAL: Whatever it contains that will increase later…meanwhile, I will tell you the items, the country of origin. When your talks progress, I will tell you where the country of origin is, it's on my fingertips.

BRIG. SEHGAL: I will tell you the name of the vice-chiefs, there are two vice-chiefs.
TEHELKA: Okay. Name will be told, name - question mark. Okay, sir.

BRIG. SEHGAL: Just write a letter to the Vice-Chief, MGO…that "we understand there is the requirement of hand-held HHTs." Our rate…keep our rate a bit low.
TEHELKA: All right, sir.

BRIG. SEHGAL: And send one to DGOS also.


BRIG. SEHGAL: I will take it from him today. Before that clear my dues. I have told the story…behan chod…that they are going for the TOT - transfer of technology. And as you had said, that you are ready to hand over the TOT. We would like to negotiate with you and we are ready to hand over the TOT. Behan chod, put that in also.
TEHELKA: All right, sir.

BRIG. SEHGAL: Even if TOT is a question mark, you at least ask because that man has to decide.
TEHELKA: Yeah, I can't decide.

BRIG. SEHGAL: Yeah, you can't decide. That's why I said, put a question mark.

BRIG. SEHGAL: See, the guy will think twice before signing…. Behan chod, see I have a counter offer and all these fuckers know about it. Either I give money behan chod to all of them. Include all. This mader chod is the way here. Not everyone gets the money. Whoever does the contract, gets it. You don't have to give.

BRIG. SEHGAL: So when you have initiated this to every fucker…
TEHELKA: From these five, either all of them will call, then all of them will ask.

BRIG. SEHGAL: All of them won't ask. I will tell you who will call, but when the next fucker knows that if I go in for this, when the contract has gone through, then behan chod…when a contract has gone through…why have you not gone through this? There is already a letter from so-and-so.
TEHELKA: Sir, that will kill the others' chances and he would straight come to me.

BRIG. SEHGAL: Then he will say why are you going for this? In view of the letter, why are you going for this?
TEHELKA: Sir, you go for this. And that is our company. The minute it is our company, we have got the thing. And then he will ask for his…his 10 per cent.

TEHELKA: So, it will go up to Lt. General.
BRIG. SEHGAL: Yaar, that goes on the powers of Brigadier Singh. May have to go to RM [Raksha Mantri] also.


BRIG. SEHGAL: Raksha Mantri. It will go to Fernandes sahib also.
SASHI: He also…

BRIG. SEHGAL: That behen chod is so money-hungry that one can just go on about it.

[Sehgal gets up to make another drink]

BRIG. SEHGAL (continuing): All these politicians are chutiyas. They are all different behind your backs.
TEHELKA: Sir, before this, for groundwork sake, can't we meet the sahibs?

BRIG. SEHGAL: Listen to me, why I am telling you do this, because that is reaching the financial stage.

TEHELKA: So we'll have to pay there also. If we meet five, we have to pay them all. We have no idea whether they will or won't do the job.

BRIG. SEHGAL: What I am telling you…
TEHELKA: It will be singled down to one person.

BRIG. SEHGAL: And, thereafter, I will tell you who the bastard is. I don't want to teach all the tricks because it has reached such a stage. Send a letter to the Raksha Mantri also. Address it to the Raksha Mantri and give a CC to everybody, behan chod.

TEHELKA: RM first? Sir, then how he will collect the money?
BRIG. SEHGAL: Behan chod, there are numerous channels for him.

TEHELKA: Those people themselves will contact us.
BRIG. SEHGAL: They will come on their own, they will contact on their own. All that you have to ensure, that it can function upto minus 40 degrees.

TEHELKA: 34, not 40 degrees.
BRIG. SEHGAL: If you make it minus 40 degrees, then nothing like it. Between 40 and 50. Because basically, what, where we want it is the Siachen. There it is between [minus] 40 and 50.

{While Senior Section Officer Sashi Menon had earlier given us some related documents regarding hand-held thermal cameras on various other occasions, he plied us with more of the same. Also, because we intended to expand our product range, the range of confidential documents that he supplied us varied from requirements of ammunition to II tubes to clothing and even helicopters. Here's a brief sampling of one such transaction .}

TEHELKA: Now you have to find a way out of this…. What are you giving me today? You are giving me something just now?
SASHI: I can take out that other directory, you know…binoculars and specifications and catalogue and colour this thing…resolution.

TEHELKA: You have not brought anything now?
SASHI: That guy is doing like that…I told him I'll return it. There are his notes in it also. The note that the DG…the General has written.

SASHI: Process. And what has our General written? "Why we should process?" Something like that. It is still kept there. I want to replace it. I told the boss, and he asked me, "If he will replace it, but will he do it so soon? All right, as you wish. If you want to take it, you take it. If something comes out of it, good…"

TEHELKA: Achha, there are some scales too.
TEHELKA: That is the quantity?

SASHI: One battalion; 300 quantity. We have 360 battalions. One battalion; 36 quantity…36 piece for one battalion. So we have 360 battalion. 360 into 3.

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…

{Here Brigadier Iqbal Singh takes his little gift from West End}

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.

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