BERHAMPUR: A sub-inspector was suspended and a case filed against six officials of Mohana block in Gajapati district on Monday for selling off seized cashewnut at throwaway prices through public auction. While 17 tonne cashewnut worth Rs 64 lakh was seized, it was sold at auction for Rs 14 lakh. SP Tapan Kumar Patnaik said Adaba police had seized a truck loaded with 17 tonne cashewnut and 3.5 quintal ganja near Mandimera village on August 24. Two persons were arrested in this connection.
After the case came up for hearing before the Civil Judge, Mohana, the court directed to sell the seized cashewnut through public auction. As per a report submitted by sub-inspector Adaba police station Alok Ranjan Jagdala, the investigating officer of the case, the raw cashewnut stock was sold for Rs 14 lakh in the presence of BDO, Bansidhar Khosla, supply inspector Shankar Behera and IIC Tapan Kumar Pati.
But the court doubted veracity of Jagdala’s claim and directed the police to re-investigate the case and submit a report. The SP entrusted the task to ASP Sitaram Satpathy who during probe found that 17 tonne cashewnut worth Rs 64 lakh was seized from the truck.
“The findings revealed that the officials concerned ignored the norms while conducting the public auction and sold the seized items at prices less than market value in connivance with some traders,” said Patnaik.
He said the SI Jagdala was suspended for gross misconduct while a case has been filed against BDO Khosla, IIC Pati, supply inspector Behera, cashew trader K Rabi Kumar and the driver of the truck B Mohan Rao.