In a well-planned operation, Food Safety Officials of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), raided two places and seized massive quantity of banned scented tobacco and gutkha worth lakhs. Two persons were booked in this connection.
According to FDA, the sleuths had received a tip-off that one of the accused, Govindprasad Harishchandra Agrawal (40), resident of Sant Sai Krupa Housing Society, Smruti Nagar, Koradi Road, Nagpur, had stocked a huge quantity of the banned stuff in his house. Subsequently, a close watch was kept on the house. On Thursday, the Food Safety Officials raided the premises and found 405 quintals of banned scented tobacco pouches worth Rs 2,92,140. The stock was meant for sell in city and nearby areas. The stock contained locally made Janam Scented Tobacco, Baghwan Scented Tobacco, Golden Yug Scented Tobacco, Jagat Scented Tobacco etc. The stock was seized by the FDA officials.
On the basis of the complaint by FDA Officer Kiran Rangswami Gedam, Koradi police have registered an offence against Agrawal under Sections 188, 273, 328 read with sub sections 3 (1), 22 (5), 26 (2) (4), and 59 of Food Safety Act. Further probe is underway.
In the second raid, the FDA officials conducted a raid at the residence of Shekhar Shankar Rao (32), a resident of Mohan Nagar on Thursday. The Department had information about Shekhar illegally selling scented tobacco. Before raiding the premises, the officials had chased Rao’s car. The officials seized scented tobacco weighing 40 kg and worth Rs 8000. On the basis of a complaint lodged by Pravin Ajabrao Umap (40) of FDA, Sadar police have booked Shekhar under Sections 188, 273, and 328 of the IPC.
It may be recalled that according to a notification issued on July 15, 2014 by Maharashtra Government, sale of scented tobacco, gutkha, paan masala has been banned in the State for a year.