Mancherial: In a major crackdown, eight persons including a ZPTC member of Jannaram and three of his family members were arrested for allegedly smuggling banned jaggery, gutka, and spurious seeds. They were produced before pressmen here on Friday.
As many as 8,840 kilograms of jaggery, 6,680 kilograms of ammonium chloride (solid-state), gutka worth Rs 2.10 lakh and 17.750 kg of spurious cotton seeds were recovered from their possession.
Briefing details of the arrests, Ramagundam Commissioner of Police V Satyanarayana said that the accused were Erra Chandrasekhar, Jannaram ZPTC member, his brother Erra Naresh, father-in-law Sheelam Ramesh, brother-in-law Shelam Shravan, Banoth Guruvaiah, Banavath Sathesh, all belonging to Rendlaguda Rendlaguda village in Jannaram mandal, Rupesh Agarwal, a trader of Adilabad town and Ladda Prem Kumar, a trader from Mancherial town.
The commissioner stated that the eight were found to have stored jaggery, ammonium chloride, gutka packets and sub-standard cotton seeds in different warehouses belonging to Erra Chandrasekhar when sleuths of a task force and local policemen jointly carried out raids, following a tip-off. The sleuths were led by ACP Akhil Mahajan and Task Force In-charge Nikith Panth, under the supervision of DCP D Uday Kumar Reddy.
During the course of interrogations, Chandrasekhar confessed to committing the offence with the help of his brother and relatives for making a fast buck. He admitted that he was purchasing the prohibited products in neighboring Karnataka, Maharashtra and other states by forming a gang with Rupesh of Adilabad and his family members.
The alleged kingpin of gutka smuggling revealed that the banned products were being delivered to local merchants by own vehicles to hoodwink police. He disclosed that they were secretly storing the products in warehouses in different parts of the districts, and at houses of his relatives and employees. He stated that they were making gutka by mixing tobacco with key ingredient Jarda by separately purchasing them.
The IPS officer said that a suspect sheet was opened against Chandrasekhar in 2016 and intelligence and special branch wings were monitoring his activities. He cautioned that none would be spared if they were involved in illegal activities and smuggling of banned products against the police of the government. He warned that Preventive Detention would be invoked against the habitual offenders.
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