The Black Marketing of fair price shop food grains is not a new thing in India. There are many cases had been exposed in the past in the various parts of the country, but in Goa this seems to be the first case wherein the smuggling of Fair Price Shop Food Grains have came into the light, thanks to the social media that played a very vital role in exposing corruption in the state of Goa and forced the Anti Corruption Branch of Goa police to take action against one such incident of Foodgrains smuggling from Goa to Maharashtra.
Following information of alleged smuggling of food grains from Goa to Maharashtra, the anti-corruption branch (ACB) of the directorate of vigilance on Thursday conducted a search at a godown in Mapusa.
The crime branch raided godowns behind HP petrol pump Colvale and Tisk-Karapur and seize the food grains to be distributed in fair price shops being illegally stacked in the private godowns.
ACB filed a First Information Report (FIR) after a message went viral on Social media, which stated that food grains of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), which were supposed to be sent to fair price shops, were being sent to a black market in Maharashtra.
It is alleged that the said rice and wheat which was supposed to be delivered in a fair price shop has been downloaded illegally at Colvale and Usgao-Tisk.
The social media message stated that the search was conducted by ACB during wee hours, but was later withdrawn on the instructions of senior officers. The message also mentioned that the truck was supposed to deliver food grains in Sattari, but was seen offloading somewhere else.
The said food grains were repacked in different bags and were black marketed to Kolhapur.
ACB SP Utkrisht Prasoon said that “A Discreet verification exercise had been carried to verify the information by ACB on Thursday morning. After this, an FIR was registered in the matter under section 406 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act at around 10 am but for the purpose of confidentiality, no one was informed.
Under Nation Food Security Act (NFSA) the food grains are issued under subsidized rates to the people through a network of around 450 fair price shops in the State.
The food grains from national food corporation arrive through railway route and are stored in Vasco and Verna central godowns. These grains are then distributed through local godowns to fair price shops.
Prasoon also added that verification of other places was already underway, details of which could not be shared as it would impact the inquiry process. It is sad, he said, that somebody leaked this to the media, thereby defeating the purpose of the exercise.
These illegal activities were on the radar of Crime Branch officials from many days. Finally, the Crime Branch sleuths conducted the raid. Now with this raid, it has come to light that black marketing racketeers have been operating in the State.