Tonnes of wheat, rice found in Gujarat marble godown during raid

by IANS |

Bhavnagar (Gujarat), June 19 (IANS) A raid at a marble godown by the district administration here found tonnes of wheat and rice hidden.

The Bhavnagar collector's team from Palitana on Saturday night carried out the raid in marble godown and seized 12 metric tonnes of grains, including wheat and rice. The civil supplies team, which is investigating the case, suspect that the grains were siphoned off from the Public Distribution System (PDS) meant for the poor and low income groups.

Palitana Executive Magistrate and Mamlatdar Atul Bhatt said to the local media that they received inputs about this. He said, "Based upon an information that some grain stock was lying at Diamond Marble godown in Palitana, GIDC area, conducted a raid on Saturday night, where we found 12,000 kilograms of wheat and rice."

Bhatt further said the owner of the godown failed to supply the buying receipts or invoices, stock register, and on the contrary, they claimed to have purchased the grains from hawkers. This created suspicion because grains are not sold by hawkers in the area, Bhatt said. The department has seized grains and will be taken to the government godown. After recording the statements of the owners, officers will investigate the roots of the procurement, he said.

The officer said the possibility can't be ruled out that grains meant for the PDS were siphoned and sold in the open market. "But this doubt can be established only after investigation," he said. Palitana Town police were informed about the seizure and an official complaint against the diamond marble godown owner would be lodged after completing the process.

This is not the first that such a seizure has been made. On Saturday, another similar seizure was reported from Devbhumi Dwarka district where 37 metric tons of grains, including rice (29 MT) and Wheat (8 MT) was seized from a truck.

The District Civil Supplies officer based on information had carried out a search at a private godown situated in a farm of Verad village of the district. During primary questioning, the search team learned that a truck with registration number GJ-25-T -9987 was carrying grains to sell in the open market. The truck was seized and a complaint filed against contractor Rajubhai Chhetariya and truck driver.

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