Varanasi: 9 arrested for overcharging in DM, SSP’s reality check
Two officials visited different shops to check rates of different commodities and foodgrains.Updated: Mar 30, 2020 19:33 IST
Flooded with complaints of customers being made to pay extra for essential commodities, Varanasi district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma along with senior superintendent of police Prabhakar Chaudhary conducted a reality check in several city markets and booked nine shopkeepers for engaging in unethical practices.
All those found overcharging were arrested, officials confirmed. Varanasi has been in lockdown since March 23 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Nine shopkeepers were caught charging higher than the MRP or price fixed by the administration including those of flour, fruits, vegetables etc,” Sharma said.
Those arrested include grocery store owner Sampurnanand from Jiapura, grocery shopkeeper Neeraj Gupta, general store owner Neeraj Gupta, general store owners Bali Qudari, fruit seller Rajendra Kumar Sonker , vegetable seller Sunil Kumar Singh and three others were arrested. They have been sent to jail.
“This should serve as a message for others that all those found overcharging would have to face action,” Sharma said.
The DM and SSP had conducted the reality check by arriving at randomly picked general stores. To make sure their identities weren’t revealed, they didn’t arrive in their official vehicles. Instead, they walked into the stores with the SSP carrying a backpack at the general and grocery stores in city’s Pan Dariba, Chetganj and Jaitpura area here on Monday.
“We had gone there to check complaints of overcharging,” the officials said. The two officials visited different shops to check rates of different commodities and foodgrains.
The district administration has issued several appeals to shopkeepers against overcharging and warned them against hoarding essential commodities. In addition, separate time has been fixed for opening of the retail and wholesale shops.
DM received complaints that some shopkeepers were selling essentials like flour, rice, pulses and oil at higher prices. To ensure action against such traders, the DM along with the SSP arrived in markets like those in Pandariba, Chetganj and Jaitpura area to check rates of these commodities at different shops.