Guwahati: Atleast nine people have been detained in connection with the fertiliser scam in Assam, official said on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has instructed the CID to investigate alleged anomalies in the procurement and distribution of urea in the state.
As a result, in February 2022, the Criminal Investigation Department launched an investigation and produced a report on large-scale anomalies in fertiliser disbursement and sale.
The chief minister had ordered the CID to file a criminal case and undertake a thorough investigation after perusing the report.
CID raids were carried out recently in Morigaon, Kamrup, Darrang, Cachar, Goalpara and Darrang districts with nine people detained so far, official stated.
Eight of those detained include proprietors of various retail stores who were selling urea at far higher prices than the government-mandated rate, as well as those who were hoarding and selling it to intermediaries or dealers.
The owner of a truck that was used to transport the diverted urea was also detained, official stated.
Meanwhile, after being produced before the Kamrup Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court, all of the accused were taken into CID custody.
According to government regulations, a bag of urea should cost Rs. 266, but wholesalers and merchants have been selling the fertiliser for around Rs. 350 to Rs. 450 each bag.
The investigation also found that these dealers, who were only allowed to sell urea to farmers in their panchayat, were selling it to others.
According to sources, some of the shops were storing urea in order to create an artificial shortage and then selling the fertiliser at a considerably higher price.
The role of agricultural department officials was also scrutinised, official added.
The inquiry is ongoing on a daily basis and is being constantly monitored by top police officers, official said.