Ghaziabad: Four workers booked for ‘stocking extra ration’, no seizure so farUpdated: Apr 29, 2020 23:03 IST
Four workers were booked by the Link Road police on a complaint by the Ghaziabad district administration on Tuesday, alleging that they allegedly demanded ration “repeatedly” and told fellow workers about helpline numbers so that they too could get extra ration in this manner.
No raids, however, have been conducted nor any extra ration have been seized so far. The complaint was filed by Surendra Singh, who is a Lekhpal.
The four were identified as Chandrabhan, Ajay Kumar, Satish Kumar and Rajvansh Kumar. They were booked under Indian Penal Code Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant).
HT on Wednesday spoke to Ajay, Satish and Rajvansh.
Although according to the police all four are residents of Kadkad Model village in Sahibabad, Ajay claimed he lives in Ghaziabad’s Budh Bazar, Khoda.
Ajay said he lives in a rented accommodation and had procured ration from the Khoda Nagar Palika only once, five days ago.
“They gave me five kilogram (kg) flour, one kg sugar, one kg pulses and half a litre of oil. This is sufficient for me for about 10-15 days. Why would I demand more rations when I already have some? This is the first time that I procured food items through the government’s help. Even my landlord here is very helpful and has been supporting me. I have no links with anyone from Kadkad Model village and used to work at a stitching unit in Noida’s Sector-65,” said Ajay, who is from Bihar.
None of the three HT spoke to said they were aware of the FIR lodged against them and denied they stocked any excess rations in their homes. They also said no raid had been conducted by administration officials or police.
Meanwhile, when asked, neither the district administration nor the police said there had been any seizure of extra rations from the homes of any of the workers.
A detailed query was sent to district magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey for remarks over the issue but there was no response till late Wednesday.
“I don’t know about others and have no links with them,” said Satish who is from Bhagalpur in Bihar and worked at a construction site in Ghaziabad.
Another suspect, Rajvansh, has been trying to support his three children and wife while the family is staying in Kadkad Model during the lockdown.
“Four days ago, I received the ration items from Vasundhara and a day later, cops came and inquired whether I received the ration or not. I told them that I had received them and they noted my details and went away. I have called the helpline to get rations only once. Why would I call them time and again,” Rajvansh said.
Lekhpal Singh, the complainant, meanwhile, alleged that the four were booked as they had allegedly procured rations time and again.
“All four of them are from Kadkad Model village and are stocking ration at their houses. They are also telling others to get rations in such a manner. Normally, a family is given rations in about 15-16 days. I cannot say anything about the seizure of extra food items as that is the police’s job. These people are taking away rations every three days,” he added.
Pravardhan Sharma, his senior officer and the Tehsildar of Ghaziabad (sadar) area, said that there have been inputs that people have been stocking ration and even selling it to buy liquor and tobacco items such as Gutkha.
“There have been complaints to us by NGOs, too. This is the input we have: Such people are violating lockdown norms and not maintaining social distancing. I cannot provide any details about seizure of any extra items from their houses. It is a matter of investigation and we cannot disclose it,” he said, while denying that the complaint was based on any finding.
Rakesh Mishra, circle officer of Sahibabad, on the other hand said that the complaint was given by the Lekhpal and he, along with other officials, had gone to Kadkad Model village.
“The seizure, etc., will be a part of the investigation but four persons have been booked upon the complaint which is for stocking and demanding extra ration. The investigation in the case will be free and fair,” he added.