Covid: One held for hoarding oxygen cylinders in Kolkata
The enforcement branch of Calcutta police on Saturday night arrested a man for allegedly hoarding medical oxygen cylinders.
Three cylinders of 10 litre capacity — two of them filled and one empty — were seized from the premises of an office named Joydeep Oxygen Services, at Gouranganagar in New Town.
“The agency did not have the licence or documents needed for running a business of stocking and supplying oxygen cylinders,” said an officer of the city police.
Tapas Haldar, a 40-year-old resident of Habra in North 24-Parganas, was arrested in connection with the alleged hoarding. The raid, conducted jointly by officers of Calcutta police and the Bidhannagar commissionerate, was an outcome of an arrest on Friday.
Aryan Shaw, 18, was arrested from Sinthee on Friday based on a complaint lodged with East Jadavpur police station. He was allegedly found in illegal possession of three oxygen cylinders.
“We came to know from Shaw about a racket involved in illegal storage and sale of medical oxygen cylinders,” an officer said.
Senior police officers said the racket was operating through advertisements on social media and WhatsApp messages. “The racketeers are claiming that they have oxygen cylinders which they are ready to let out or sell at a premium,” the officer said.
According to a government notification issued recently, no one is allowed to stock or procure medical oxygen cylinders without the prescription of a medical practitioner specifying the need for oxygen. Pharmacies and licensed vendors have been barred from selling or letting out oxygen cylinders without a prescription. Violation of the directive could lead to a penal action under the Disaster Management Act.