Hyderabad: Several people that Deccan Chronicle spoke with complained of demands for bribes from the police. Their names and identities have been withheld. They were scared that their businesses would be shut if they went on record.
Restaurant owner at SD Road: When the police come, we offer them food. It is like a give and take relationship. They help by allowing us to keep the restaurant open till 1 am-2 am. We do not mind serving them nor do we ask them for money as we have to maintain our relations with them in order for the restaurant to function properly.
South Indian café owner near Paradise circle: We pay the police around Rs 500 a day as they let our hotel function 24 hours a day. We are usually never shut. If we don’t pay them, they will ask us to close the café. They (four-five members) also come every alternate day and have free food and we do not ask for money. Sometimes they also take parcels for their family. If there is a new officer in charge, we are immediately asked to shut beyond allotted timings.
Paan shop owners at PG Road, SD Road: Sometimes the police ask for paan, we give it to them and they leave without paying us. Call it favour or fear, we just don’t ask for money because of the same.
Coffee house worker, PV Marg: A team of four-five members comes almost five days a week and has tea or coffee for free. It is very irritating to serve them free all the time but nothing can be done from my end. The owner asks me to serve them and they leave without paying.
Ice-cream hawker on Tank Bund: The police come whenever they wish to, around four-five days a week, and have two ice-creams each without paying me. I do not even ask them to pay because of fear and I also have a thought of letting go of a few packs of ice-cream.
Pani puri seller at MG Road: A team of two-three members stop by around five days a week, have a plate or half-plate of pani puri and leave. When I ask for money, they tell me that they are on duty. I have no other option but to let go. Earlier before the TRS government was formed, I had to pay Rs 500 almost every month for two years in order to sell pani puri on the road. If we have to work here we must bow to the police.
Petrol pump owner: We have a tie-up with the police. Every month we give them 15 litres of fuel free and they help us when people refuse to pay for fuel. Police help us when we need them, as they are just a call away.
Biryani restaurant owner: We have different discounts and offers for the police but we wish not to speak much about them....