Following the discovery of a major food grain racket on Friday, police have started looking for absconding racketeers.
The police raided the house of one Sanjay Mohnani and his brother Deepak Mohnani at Golmuri on Sunday, both identified as the ones running the racket of selling rice provided for below poverty line (BPL) people through public distribution system (PDS) shops.
Kunal Kumar, officer-in-charge of Sakchi thana, where one of the cases has been registered against the Mohnani brothers, said that the two have either gone underground, or fled the city.
"We raided the Mohnani house at Golmuri on Sunday and had also carried out the similar raid on Saturday as well as the day before. Now we will have to resort to obtaining `kurki-jabti' (attachment) warrant so that the absconders may be compelled to surrender either before the police or in the court," said Kumar while talking to The Telegraph Online.
Meanwhile, the food and supply department on Saturday cancelled the license of a PDS shop that Sanjay Mohnani used to run. The department has also cancelled the food-grain transportation tender of Deepak Mohnani.
"Sanjay Mohnani used to run a PDS shop at Sakchi and had set up a godown privately for stocking rice and wheat procured by unfair means. Deepak Mohnani, who had a contract for transporting food-grains from Food Corporation of India's godown to the PDS shops across the East Singhbhum district, used to unload the food-grains at his brother's private godown instead of unloading them at the PDS shops. Therefore we have cancelled the license of Sanjay's PDS shop and also the transportation contract of his brother Deepak. Now we have decided to do the transportation of the food-grains from the FCI godown in Burmamines to the PDS shops across the district departmentally," East Singhbhum district Special Officer (Rationing) told The Telegraph Online.
As per the system in the rationing department, on an average 35 kgs of rice and 10 kgs wheat at a rate of Re 1 per kg is given to a family every month from a PDS shop. Racketeers like the Mohnani brothers collude with PDS shop owners to siphon off half of the total stock and sell them at Rs 15 per kg in the market.
An insider informed the Mohnanis enjoyed the backing of politicians and also of the food and supply department which turned a blind eye when beneficiaries lodged complaints of not getting food-grains from a PDS shop regularly.
A case in point is a PDS shop at Bagbera where beneficiaries had seized a mini truck of rice and wheat being taken out of the PDS shop owned by one Jitendra Yadav in August Despite there being eyewitness accounts and video clips of the incident, the department did not take any action against the PDS shop.
The insider also said that out of the 250 PDS shop owners in East Singhbhum, most have a role to play in the food-grain rackets, depriving beneficiaries of their due.