Jammu & Kashmir

Illegal storage of Kerosene oil worth 75 lakhs seized, Govt officials among many arrested

Srinagar: The administration in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday arrested many, including government officials, for illegally storing and selling Kerosene oil having a value of more than 75 lakhs.

On Sunday, in view of pilferage of Kerosene oil in the district along with continuous complaints coming from various quarters regarding illegal diversion of the controlled commodity; Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Dr Raghav Langer led raids in various parts of the district and the teams seized approx 1.5 lakh litres of Kerosene Oil.

Deputy Commissioner was accompanied by Assistant Director Food and Civil Supplies Pulwama and respective Tehsildars. 

During the searches, illegal storage and illegal sale of Kerosene oil to the tune of whopping 1.5 lakh litres were found especially in places like Samboora, KhachKoot, Lethpora, Pampore and other places, having a value of more than 75 lakhs.

Officials said that multiple FIRs under the stringent sections 3/7 of Essential Commodities Act, 1955 has been lodged against the culprits. Besides arrests, many such premises were sealed.

While commenting on administration’s promptness over the action taken; DC  said that cognizance was taken on repeated complaints being received regarding the illegal sales of Kerosene oil by some licensed Kerosene Oil dealers and other miscreants especially at locations along the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

He added that Kerosene is a controlled commodity and was being illegally sold to some transporters, filling stations, hot wet mix plants and stone crushers, in violation of law and rules.

He further added that illegal sales and siphoning of Kerosene oil have led to the deprivation of the same to thousands of ration cardholders, for whom this subsidised commodity is actually meant.

Many Kerosene Oil depots were sealed during the process with SKO dealers booked for non-maintenance of the stock register, sale details, lack of receipts and challans.

Directions have been given by the Deputy Commissioner to immediately start the process of cancellation of licenses of those dealers found involved in the illegal act.

Meanwhile, Assistant Director Food and Civil Supplies was also directed to lodge FIR against Tehsil Supply Officer (Kerosene) Pulwama in view of his prima facie involvement in the crime.

Many residents/ration cardholders of the district had been regularly complaining regarding non-issuance of oil to them despite huge allotment quota of the district to the tune of 180 KL per month.

Deputy Commissioner Pulwama also has issued an order regarding the decanting of Kerosene oil at destined locations in the district wherein SKO dealers have been directed to ensure the same in presence of the respective Tehsildars for verification of quantities decanted under certification of Tehsildar/TSO.

Any pilferage of kerosene oil/essential commodity is punishable under section 7 of the Act for imprisonment which may extend up to seven years along with fine.


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