The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday night raided on some 45 warehouses of Punjab and Haryana, seized samples of rice and wheat stocks. The source said the CBI’s search operation has been on since last night and are being carried out with help of paramilitary forces.
The raids began on Thursday night, with multiple teams of the central agency, along with CRPF personnel, swooping on the godowns. It is learnt that samples of wheat and rice from the stocks of 2019-20 and 2020-21 are being collected by the teams. The move is part of preventive vigilance to check corruption at locations where public dealing takes place.
The official said raids are being held at almost all godowns of PUNGRAIN and Punjab Warehousing Corporation Limited, besides some godowns of FCI and 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.
Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution, had recently said in an interview that the government will soon be doing quality checks of procured grains.
The raids come amid a worsening of the face-off between the protesting farmers and the Central government, particularly after the violence on Republic Day. The farmer union representatives have said the violence on Republic Day was the result of a conspiracy to malign the farmers’ protest which was going on peacefully from the last two months. Taking cognizance on the Republic Day violence, the Delhi police have filed more than 25 cases over Tuesday’s violence, while 19 people have been arrested.
In an attempt to crackdown the farmers protest, the Uttar Pradesh government deployed additional forces on Thursday night to vacate the protest site. However, Rakesh Tikait’s tears became the elixir to revive farmers protest. As Rakesh Tikait sobbed on national television, he told reporters that he would rather commit suicide than leave and end the protest against the farm laws.