KOLKATA: Selling the high priced onion has become a risky proposition in West Bengal now, with many unscrupulous buyers fleeing without paying the price.
The matter came to light at the state government-run Sufal Bangla stall in Bolpur of Birbhum district, where many customers took the vegetable gratis, hoodwinking the employees at the outlet.
The incident happened on Monday when the onions were being sold from the outlet at a heavily subsidised price of Rs 59 a kilo, with lot of people in the queue.
The vegetable is being sold at Rs 130-140 a kilo at retail markets.
"Some customers took the onion and decamped with it without bothering to pay for the purchase. Twenty kgs of onion was taken in this way," an official told IANS.
Earlier, theft of onion was reported from two areas in the state.
On Saturday, 5 kg onion was stolen from a vegetable trader in Bhangar of South 24 Parganas district.
Akshay Das, a vegetable seller in Sutahata of East Midnapore district, late last month found several sacks containing onion missing when he opened his shop in the morning.
According to Das, the thieves had escaped with onion worth Rs 50,000, beside some garlic and ginger.
What was more interesting, the thieves did not bother to take the money kept in the cash box which was intact.