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Vigilance up to check PDS rice smuggling

S. Ramesh

ERODE: The authorities in the district have intensified their efforts to prevent the smuggling of rice meant for supply under the Public Distribution System (PDS) following the seizure of large quantity of PDS rice during the last week.

Vigilance has been stepped up in the routes connecting Karnataka and Kerala and teams have been formed to conduct vehicle checks at crucial points on the highways at frequent intervals.

The incidents of rice smuggling have increased in the district, particularly after the launch of the free rice distribution scheme of the State Government.

Police and civil supply officials had seized more than 10 tonnes of PDS rice at different parts in the district during the last week alone.On Sunday, police seized four tonnes of PDS rice in Bhavani and arrested two persons, Venkatesan (47) and Varatharajan (36), for trying to smuggle the rice into Karnataka. Police also seized eight tonnes of paddy, which was used to hide the bags containing PDS rice.

The smugglers reportedly procured the rice in various parts of Bhavani.

On June 10, police had seized 5.5 tonnes of PDS rice at Aasanur, near Sathyamangalam. In the preliminary enquiry, it was revealed that the rice was being smuggled from Tirupur to Karnataka.

A few days earlier, over one tonne of PDS rice, which was found hoarded in a house, was seized in the district.

Smugglers often buy the PDS rice in smaller quantities from people and transport it to the neighbouring states, where the PDS rice is sold for more Rs. 12 a kg.

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