The State Vigilance on Thursday registered a dozen cases against 16 fertiliser agencies and arrested seven agents for alleged hoarding and black marketing to create an artificial scarcity in the market.
The anti-corruption wing had conducted searches across 40 locations last week to make an inventory of the fertiliser stocks in different districts. While it found gross shortage against the actual accounts, it also found excess stocks too. All the cases have been booked under the Essential Commodities Act. The Cuttack Division of the State Vigilance booked Gopinath Padhi of Tarini Fertilisers and Pesticides in Jajpur’s Panikoili for shortage of 1,792 bags of urea. Similarly, Pradipta Ray, Proprietor of Archana Bhandar at Malgodown, Cuttack, and Indramani Sahoo, who runs Omm Maa Sarala Traders at Nischintakoili of Cuttack, were booked. All three were arrested and produced before a local court.
The Bhubaneswar Division arrested Prana Krushna Sahoo and Sarbeswar Sahoo of Puri’s Gop for excess stock. It also registered cases against Umesh Chandra Sahoo of Nayagarh and Sabita Choudhury of Bhubaneswar for shortage of fertiliser stock.
The Berhampur Division booked Bhaba Krushna Mohanty of Tara Tarini Traders, Balisira in Ganjam, for improper maintenance of records. Gouri Shankar Agrawal of Boudh also faced similar charges. The Sambalpur Division booked cases against four agents and arrested one of them __ Arun Kumar Agarwal of Ampalli of Bargarh. The Balasore Division registered cases against Pravudayal Ram, proprietor of Agro Enterprisers, and arrested him. ENS