Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 29
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started conducting raids on around 40 godowns in Punjab and 10 in Haryana, storing rice and wheat for the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
The raids began on Thursday night, with multiple teams of the central agency, along with CRPF personnel, swooping on the godowns. The state government was reportedly not informed of the action.
It is learnt that samples of wheat and rice from the stocks of 2019-20 and 2020-21 are being collected by the teams.
Raids are being held at almost all godowns of PUNGRAIN and Punjab Warehousing Corporation Limited, besides some godowns of FCI, said official sources. Raids are under way at Moga, Fazilka, Patti among other places in Punjab.
Sources said the raids continued into the wee hours of Friday morning. At some places, the raids were stopped for some time and then resumed.
Raids were conducted on a total of 45 godowns.
A statement issued by the CBI said they were checking the quantity and quality of foodgrains procured by the FCI from Punjab and Haryana.
The CBI is primarily also checking if the foodgrains stored in the godown were actually procured from farmers here, or if goodgrakns procured at very low prices from other states were being passed on to the central pool, after claiming the high MSP of foodgrains.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that in at least two godowns of Punjab, the raiding teams have found rice bags from Bihar, passed off as paddy procured from Punjab on MSP.
In Haryana the raids were conducted in Sirsa and Shahbad.