Even after a month after detection of sale of ‘fake pesticides,’ the police have not registered cases against the dealers.
Last month, agriculture officials conducted surprise raids in a dozen outlets. It was found that some of the shops had been selling ‘fake’ pesticides and crop nutrients to farmers. crops. After recording the statements of the erring shopkeepers and sending the samples to the laboratories to confirm their findings, the officers lodged complaints with the respective police stations — Tallakulam, Vilakkuthoon, Keeraithurai and Sellur — before sealing the premises.
According to sources, the police have not registered any case against the erring shopkeepers.
Following complaints from participants at the farmers’ grievance day meetings that their yield from their fields was poor, pest menace was one of the prime reasons for the same, and that the doubted the efficacy of the pesticides, Collector L. Subramanian formed special teams to check the shops.
During the surprise raids, the agriculture officials found that spurious chemicals were used in the preparation of pesticides.
According to sources, a shopkeeper had been selling fake pesticides and other nutrients for over a decade at Kamaraj Nagar in Tallakulam. In the guise of an authorised dealer for micro-nutrients, he had been selling a mixture of spurious chemicals and water as liquid spray in flashy containers. At Old Kuyavarpalayam, the officials found a shopkeeper selling ‘phosphate’ in 500 gram packets — a mixture of sand and colour powder.
In a small house in Sellur, the officials found a man packing ‘nutrients’ in plastic containers. They were meant for selling to farmers growing vegetables in Kodaikanal and some parts of Kerala. The labels looked authentic so that the buyers will not suspect, the officials said and added a godown with goods worth over Rs. 10 lakh was sealed. But when the officers inspected the godown the following day, the goods had vanished.
Replying to an SMS, Commissioner of Police Sanjay Mathur, said he will check up with the officers concerned. Meanwhile, a senior agriculture official said that the Collector had written to the Agriculture Commissioner about the raids and the action pending with the police.
Welcoming the raids, Palanisamy, a farmers’ association president, has appealed to the police to expedite action against the erring shopkeepers.