A godown owner at Soni Falia in Olpad town was detained on Friday after deputy mamlatdar of the area lodged a complaint against him for allegedly selling foodgrains without licence. The matter was brought to light by AAP vice-president Gopal Italiya on Wednesday when he went to check the godown.
Surat police on Friday also took statement of Italiya after the godown owner’s brother lodged a complaint against the leader for illegally entering his godown. The AAP leader was later let go.
Italiya along with six youths went to the godown on Wednesday and found gunny bags full of foodgrains bearing stamp of Punjab and Madhya Pradesh governments and empty bags with stamp of Gujarat government. The godown owner, Mukesh Khatik, was not present, but his younger brother Chhagan was there. When Italiya asked him about the documents of the stock, he failed to produce any.
Italiya then informed Olpad mamlatdar N M Chauhan who then reached the spot with his deputy of supply department, Olpad, Prabhu Patel. Meanwhile, Mukesh also reached the godown.
Chauhan checked the stock and found packed gunny bags of wheat, rice and foodgrains bearing stamps of Punjab and Madhya Pradesh governments. The officials then sealed the godown.
Patel said, “Mukesh was illegally selling food grain without any licence. We have found empty foodgrain gunny bags of the Gujarat government. We have seized 1,455 gunny bags of foodgrains worth Rs 20.85 lakh from his godown.”
On Wednesday night, Chhagan lodged a complaint against Italiya and six others for illegally entering their godown and threatening him. Olpad police registered an offence against Italiya and six others under IPC sections 143, 149, 448, 504, 506 (1) on Wednesday.
The next day, Patel also lodged a complaint against Mukesh for illegally selling food grain without licence. Oplad police registered an offence under Essential Commodities Act.
After the case was filed against Italiya, police took him to the police station and recorded his statements and later let him go.
“First Mukesh Khatik lodged a complaint against Gopal Italiya and others. The next day, the deputy Mamlatdar registered an offence against the godown owner. We have detained the godown owner today (Friday). We are waiting for his Covid-19 test results. We did not arrest or detain Italiya. His statements have been recorded and he was then allowed to go. We will collect evidence against him based on the case filed against him and take actions, if needed,” District Superintendent of Police Usha Rada said.
Surat unit AAP spokespersons Yogesh Jadvani said, “Our state leader exposed the illegal sale of government food grain from the godown, but the police registered an offence against our leader. This is injustice. The major seizure of food grain worth Rs 20.85 lakh was possible as our tea informed the mamlatdar about it.”