PDS rice smuggling: Mekipur godown sealed

A Correspondent
Joysagar, May 23: Anomalies were found in transportation of Public Distribution System (PDS) items like rice and kerosene oil in Sivasagar district recently. As per reports, a notorious gang of fair price item smugglers is active in the district due to which there have been anomalies in PDS rice transportation and distribution to various co-operative societies of the district.

On Tuesday, four trucks carrying PDS items were found with less number of rice bags than the number specified while these trucks collected the rice bags from the FCI, Sivasagar central storehouse in the Jengonikatia area. Sivasagar District Food and Civil Supply Department, with the help of Sivasagar Police, therefore seized the four trucks on Tuesday from Nazira. The trucks have registration numbers AS-04-D-9237, AS-01-DD-0467, AS-23-AC-2605 and AS-DD-0627. Besides, Nazira subdivision executive magistrate, during a sudden inspection, found lesser number of rice bags in Nazira, Mekipur and Gelakey cooperative societies than the allotted number of rice bags. The Nazira subdivisional executive magistrate therefore sealed the Mekipur godown of PDS items on Tuesday and also seized their register books and ordered the Food and Civil Supply Department officers to verify all the allotments and disbursements to the BPL card holders of the subdivision.

The Sivasagar District Food and Civil Supply Department recently released fair price rice and kerosene oil to all the 118 cooperative societies of the district for the month of May and June. Meanwhile, allegations have been made against few traders that they are secretly collecting and selling the fair price rice and kerosene oil in the black market. Sivasagar Police are investigating the allegations and two businessmen of Gaurisagar, one of Station Chariali, Sivasagar and three of Nazira and Mekipur are now under police scanner, sources said. Besides, another gang of truck owners and residents of Jenganikotia, Boniabari and NH-37 of this town are also prime suspects of PDS item smuggling. Police investigation is on.