Development News Edition
Give Feedback

NAFED, GUJCOT official arrested for adulteration of groundnuts

The accused were arrested from different places in Junagadh, Morbi and Rajkot districts, police said adding that with their arrest, the number of people held in the case has gone up to 22.


PTI Last Updated at 04-08-2018 20:06:16 IST India
NAFED, GUJCOT official arrested for adulteration of groundnuts

Nineteen people, including officials of NAFED and GUJCOT, were today arrested in connection with the alleged adulteration of groundnuts procured in Rajkot district of Gujarat, a police officer said.

The accused were arrested from different places in Junagadh, Morbi and Rajkot districts, police said adding that with their arrest, the number of people held in the case has gone up to 22.

"One official each of the nodal procuring agencies- National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and Gujarat State Co-operative Cotton Federation (GUJCOT)- are among the 19 who were arrested," Rajkot (Rural) Superintendent of Police Balram Meena said. One of the arrested is from Gujarat State Warehousing Corporation, while 14 others belong to different co-operative societies, he said.

According to the officer, Rohit Boda, a GUJCOT employee and nephew of NAFED chairman Vaghji Boda, is also among those arrested.

"Seven teams formed for the purpose raided several places overnight at Junagadh, Morbi, and Rajkot and nabbed the accused with the help of local police and crime branch. The involvement of these accused was revealed by three others who were arrested earlier in this case," he said.

According to police, nearly 30,000 sacks of groundnuts (each weighing 35 kg) were found mixed with sand and stones four days back. They were kept at a private godown taken on rent by the NAFED in Pedhla town under Jetpur taluka of Rajkot district.

"Those arrested, including Magan Zalavadiya, a GUJCOT official who lodged a complaint at Jetpur taluka police station, hatched a conspiracy to mix sand and pebbles in the groundnuts. Around 30,000 bags of the procured groundnuts kept at a godown hired by NAFED were found adulterated," he said.

"We had suspected the involvement of the officials of NAFED and GUJCOT as none of them had come forward to lodge a complaint despite instructions given by the top authorities to do so," the SP said.

The matter came to light after the traders, who bought the groundnuts, found them to be of sub-standard quality with a high level of adulteration, he said.

"The groundnut was procured from cooperative societies in Junagadh district. Three persons arrested earlier revealed that Zalavadiya was also involved in it," he said.

These officials allegedly flouted the rules that need to be followed for the storage of state-procured groundnuts in godowns, he said.

The accused have been arrested under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 120 (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. "We will interrogate the arrested accused and will ensure that nobody is left out. Some more people are likely to be arrested," he said.

Police are also investigating whether the arrested persons were also involved in the massive fires that broke out in Gondal and Shapar godowns where groundnut worth Rs 28 crore and Rs 3 crore were destroyed in February and May this year respectively.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued here today, NAFED chairman Vaghji Boda said if any of his relatives were found guilty in the case, they should be punished. The opposition Congress has alleged large-scale corruption in the procurement of groundnuts in the state and already demanded a judicial probe into the matter.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


add banner

LEAVE COMMENT