Reported by Santosh Jagdev / Pics by Biswaranjan Mishra
Bhubaneswar, June 20:
The Quick Action Team (QAT) of the Commissionerate Police along with Khandagiri police personnel today raided a gutkha factory and seized duplicate gutkha worth Rs 10 lakh along with the processing machines from a factory in Bharatpur area under Khandagiri police limits in Odisha’s capital city.
The other accused were identified as Umabati, Niranjan Kumar, Sarbesh Kashyap, Rahul Kumar, Anup Kumar, all of UP and Bulu Sahu of Ganjam. They were booked under sections 468, 471, 420, 34 of IPC r/w sections 78/79 Trade and Merchandise Act-1958/ section- 63 of Copyrights Act-1957.
The accused will be forwarded to the local court tomorrow, police added.
The gutkha factory was running in a two-storied rented house in Bharapur area since the last 3 months. 6 bags of gutkha sachets and 16 bags of ghutkha ingredients such as betel nut, catechu, chemicals, tobacco and other materials which were kept for packing have also been seized from the factory.
According to QAT officials, the raid was conducted on the basis of a tip-off from a source.
Police sources said they had been manufacturing and selling duplicate gutkha in several districts such as Sambalpur, Jagatsinghpur and Sundargarh and earning huge profits. The factory had also been set up illegally without any documents, they added.
“The QAT has sealed the factory after seizing machines, packed gutkha and other stuff. Investigation is on to nab the other employees of the factory and its documents are being verified,” twin city police commissioner Dr R P Sharma said.
The Odisha government had announced a state-wide ban on the manufacture, sale and use of gutkha and chewing tobacco containing nicotine by releasing a notification in this regard on the 1st of January last year.
” The government has not only failed to check the sale of gutkha, it was not even able to detect an illegal gutkha factory which was running in the city and selling its products across the state,” said Padma Charan Nayak, convener of Milita Odisha Nisha Nibarana Abhiyan (MONNA).
The government is silent over the issue bcause it collects huge revenue from these illegal stuff, he alleged.