The Delhi Police on Friday said they conducted raids at two upscale restaurants in Lutyen Delhi’s Khan Market and recovered 105 oxygen concentrators. According to the police, 96 oxygen concentrators were recovered from Khan Chacha Restaurant and nine were seized from Town Hall restaurant, both situated in the same posh area.
The recovery comes days after the arrest of four men — Gaurav, Satish Sethi, Vikrant and Hitesh — from a restaurant-cum-bar in south Delhi’s Lodhi Colony area who were allegedly involved in hoarding and black marketing oxygen concentrators.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) Atul Kumar Thakur said Navneet Kalra is the owner of the restaurants and his mobile phone is switched off and he is currently absconding.
WHO’S NAVNEET KALRA?
Navneet Kalra is a renowned Delhi-based businessman, who has lavish lifestyle and quite a regular face on Page 3. On his social media platforms, Kalra has posted several pictures with celebrities, politicians and other sports personalities who visit his Delhi restaurants such as Town Hall, Mr Choy, Nege and Ju, and most famously Khan Chacha. Khan Chacha is the most frequently visited place by common people to celebrities in Delhi for its melt-in-the mouth kebabs and other Mughlai cuisines.
Khan Chacha, which has now become a chain, was first started by Haji Banda Hasan known as ‘Khan Chacha’ by people in 1972 in the same Khan Market. Over the years, when it grew Hasan’s sons Javed and Saleem joined the business and expanded the eatery. Later in 2010, they did a partnership with Navneet Kalra. After some years, a fall out happened between both partners over ‘Khan Chacha trademark’ and the matter was taken to court.
According to a report in India Today, Kalra claimed that Hasan and his sons had signed over the rights to the Khan Chacha brand name to him, while they alleged that the documents were forged. However, the ‘Khan Chacha trademark’ is currently being used by Kalra only, while Hasan and his sons have opened a new eatery chain.
BLACK-MARKETTING OF OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS ALLEGEDLY BY NAVNEET KALRA
According to Delhi Police, the recovered oxygen concentrators had been imported from China by a company. The cost of one oxygen concentrator was between Rs 16,000 to Rs 22,000. Some of them had a capacity of five litres while others were of nine litres. The police said as per all accused they were selling the machines at a price range of Rs 50,000, to 70,000. Kalra and other accused had been importing the oxygen concentrators from October last year and when the demand increased in February this year, more such machines were imported and stored at different restaurants, police said. The accused were selling these machines through online portals and messages were also being circulated on WhatsApp, the officer said.
Matrix Cellular is one of the companies which was involved in importing the machines. A person named Gagan is the owner of the company and he too is being investigated, police said. The company recently go a lot of 650 concentrators, of which, 524 have been recovered, police added. “With further seizure of 105 #OxygenConcentrator from Khan Chacha & Town Hall, 2 upscale restaurants in Khan Mkt, total 524 seized frm #blackmarketers Owner Navneet Kalra, also owns Dayal Opticals, is on run. Manager, 3 staffers arrested by #DelhiPolice SouthDist. Further raids on,” the Delhi Police said in a tweet.
Kalra also owns another restaurant where police had conducted raids and recovered oxygen concentrators on Wednesday. Earlier, the police had said that Nege Ju Restaurant and Bar in central market Lodhi Colony was found open on Wednesday. A man was found working on a laptop at the restaurant who was later found taking online orders for oxygen concentrators, police had said earlier.
Police had searched the restaurant premises and recovered 32 boxes of oxygen concentrators, one box of thermal scanner and another box containing N 95 masks, the officer had said. A case was registered and four accused persons were arrested.
During interrogation, the accused disclosed about their warehouse in Chhatarpur following which a search was conducted and 387 more units of oxygen concentrators were recovered which were being sold at exorbitant prices in black market. The warehouse, which was opened at a farm house, was being operated by Matrix Cellular company, police said. Invoices of these oxygen concentrators were recovered. MRP stickers displaying a price of Rs 69,999 per concentrator were also recovered.
(with inputs from PTI)