Two persons, including a saleswoman of a PDS shop, were arrested for selling ration rice in the black market.
Officials attached to the District Supply Office (DSO) caught the duo red-handed during a surprise check of PDS outlets in and around Walajapet on Saturday.
District supply and consumer protection officer T Jayasheela conducted the check at the PDS shop run by Vaan Pugal Women Self Help Group in Walajapet Town around 3 pm. The shop caters to about 1,200 card holders. During the inspection, the officer caught Lalithaa (40) illegally selling two bags of PDS rice, each weighing 50 kg, to Srinivasan (50) of Walajapet.
The department has been conducting frequent checks at PDS shops, where the distribution of ration items were more than 90 per cent.
“The raids were conducted to check whether the ration items were reaching the hands of card holders,” said Jayasheela.
Following this, the president of the SHG has been directed to remove Lalithaa from the group. She also alerted the Civil Supplies-CID to take legal action against Lalithaa and Srinivasan.
When the DSO department officials enquired about Srinivasan, police officials had informed them that he was involved in smuggling of PDS rice to neighbouring states and was detained under the Goondas Act in 2012 for repeated offences.
Both the saleswoman and Srinivasan were arrested under various sections of the Essential Commodities Act. While Lalithaa was lodged in the Special Prison for Women, Srinivasan was remanded in the Vellore Central Prison for Men, said inspector of Vellore unit of civil supplies-CID D Ashokan.
The officials said they would conduct a detailed inquiry into the incident and take action at the earliest.