Food dept not to retrieve wheat bags from ration depot licence

  • Anshu Seth, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Dec 16, 2014 13:49 IST

The food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department of the district have decided not to take the remaining 221 wheat bags lying in the store of Satnam Singh, a ration depot licencee, who was booked on the charge of misappropriation of wheat bags recently.

Satnam, a resident of Jharaoudi village, was booked under relevant sections of the IPC in September.

It is pertinent to mention here that of total 2,700 wheat bags given to the licensee, 950 were distributed among the blue card holders in the presence of the food inspector Gurpreet Singh and a letter issued by the inspector on September 17 stated that following the suspension of supply to Satnam Singh, two other depot holders were given 584 and 945 wheat bags from his supply.

The letter further stated that the sum total of wheat bags, which were distributed among blue card holders and given to other depot holders and the ones that were lying in Satnam’s store came to 2,700. Thus, the total supply given to the licensee clearly indicated that charges were “wrongly framed” against him.

Crying foul, Satnam, former sarpanch of Jharoudi village, alleged that a group of four individuals enjoying the political patronage of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Jagjivan Pal Singh Khirnia had falsely implicated him in the case.

“I had recorded my statement before Khanna SSP on September 19 and said that he had been framed in the case and a high-level inquiry should be initiated in the case. He explained that complainants Shiv Kumar Shivli , Dharamveer Singh, husband of village sarpanch Rajinder Kaur, Karnail Singh and Vineet Kumar had broke open the locks of my private store in Machhiwara which had stocks of grain cultivated in his fields thus a case should be registered against them,” said Satnam.

Satnam also alleged that the cops and food inspector, who registered the case at the behest of the complainants, were also called and said that they had seen him (Satnam) taking the wheat bags from depot to his store and shifting them from government stamped bags to plain bags.

The depot holder has been supplying ration to card holders in 21 villages of which sarpanches of 18 villages, including those of Lakhowal Khurd , Rahimawal Khurd, Khera , Uddowal Kalan and Lakhowal Kalan, have given written statements in his (Satnam) favour which are already in possession of the district food and supplies controller (DFSC) officials.

DFSC Sona Thind said she had only suspended Satnam Singh’s supply and had not cancelled his licence as the decision was pending in the court. Thind said: “We cannot take possession of the wheat bags from his (Satnam) store till the case is decided as it is difficult to ascertain whether they were there from the beginning or were stacked after the complaint.”

Denied allegations of having supported anyone, Khirnia said: “The DFSC department is conducting an inquiry and the truth will be revealed after we receive the report.”

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