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LPG, Fuel In The Black Market Reel Under Police Crackdown

IMPHAL, Oct 29 : Barely 28 hours after  Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (CAF & PD) Minister, Yumkham Erabot submitted a damning report to Union Home Secretary GK Pillai, that personnel of the State Home Department are involved in the black market racket of fuel and LPG , the police launched a crackdown on unauthorized vendors selling petroleum products and LPG cylinders,

Three persons have been arrested and 4000 liters of diesel and 19 LPG cylinders were confiscated from Porompat and Lam- long Bazar under Porompat police station at around 1 pm yesterday.

The arrested persons have been identified as Wahengbam Rojit Singh (31) s/o Wahengbam Indra Singh of Porompat Thouwanthaba Leikai, Ahanthem Gunindro (36) s/o Ahanthem Mangi Singh of Khurai Thoidingjam Leikai and Lairikyengbam Kiranjit Singh (35) s/o Lairikyengbam Tomba Singh of Lairikyengbam Leikai.

Rojit is said to be a supplier of diesel to Quippo’s Mobile Tower and the police confiscated Rs 2000 liters of unauthorized diesel from his house.

Police also confiscated another 2000 liters of authorized diesel from the house of Gunindro who supplies diesel to Airtel towers.

From the shop of Kiranjit at Lamlong Bazar, the police confiscated 19 LPG cylinders including three empty cylinders.

In connection with the crackdown, Porompat police said that the three persons were arrested for selling petroleum products without the required permit of the DC concerned and the no objection certificate from the oil pump.

A case would be registered against them in the Court and the chargesheet would be framed, police source said.

Erabot had on October 26, reiterated that inspite of some embarrassing incidents, State security personnel, including jail staff, continue to indulge in the trade of black-marketing of petrol and diesel and added that unless such unscrupulous elements are identified and punished the situation will continue to be grim.

He also informed that in connection with the petroleum product shortages presently besieging the State, a meeting was held on October 26 at the New Secretariat office chamber of the CAF&PD Minister which was attended by Commissioner P Vaiphei and top officials of the Department and Indian Oil Corporation.

Coming out of the meeting, Erabot told newspersons that inconveniences being endured by the general public in procuring petrol/diesel can be tackled only when security personnel involved in unauthorized fuel trade are dealt with according to law of the land.

He opined that pulling up some women, who sell petrol in the streets, could not improve the situation as their main source of supply is the police force.

Erabot also disclosed that details of security personnel involved in black marketing of petrol/diesel have been handed over to the Union Home Secretary GK Pillai during the latter’s recent visit of the State.

While informing that seriousness of the matter is being deliberated by Central Government officials, the Minister also clarified that CAF&PD has no legal sanction to round up or punish the guilty security personnel.

He also confided that taking into account hardships being endured by the public, IOC officials have been advised to ensure allocation of 12 kilolitres of petrol and diesel to fuel outlets of Imphal and Greater Imphal areas, thrice a week. Regarding other districts, the Minister said allocations would be based on demand and disposal quotient, stock position and record of petrol/diesel provision.

Sharing information with regard to position of food stock, he said FCI godown at Sangaiprou has 1141 metric tonne rice, 886 metric wheat and 259 MT sugar while at Ukhrul and Jiribam FCI godowns rice stock is 1828 and 405 metric tonne respectively.

Expressing that present stock of rice at the Sangaiprou godown will be inadequate even for a single assembly constituency, Erabot also stated that relevant officials/agencies have been intimated for transportation of wheat and sugar from Ramnagar on the National highway 53 route, through which rice loads are being brought in to the State. He further added that home Department authorities have been notified for provision of security convoys to escort goods carriers twice a week instead of the current practice of one every week.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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