In a joint operation, food cell police and officials attached to the district supply office conducted raids in the city and peripheries and seized about 500 quintals of rice, 1,900 litres of kerosene and 62 vehicles among other essential commodities intended for distribution through PDS from January.

Following complaints of shortage of essential commodities in some of the fair price shops in rural pockets, District Collector C. Kamaraj conducted surprise checks and directed the officials at the block and taluk levels to have a check on the arrivals and distribution of the goods to the masses.

Four days ago, a salesman at Race Course Colony ration shop and a woman assistant were placed under suspension after irregularities were found, officials said.

Meanwhile, surveillance was stepped up on suspected attempts to smuggle rice and other commodities and came under close scanner.

According to District Supply Officer S. Murugiah, intensified drives had fetched results. With public cooperation, the officials were able to intercept or chase those vehicles which attempted to smuggle essential commodities in the city and peripheries.

Food Cell police DSP Karthikeyan said that habitual offenders would be dealt as per the law and detained under the Goondas Act.

Public having information about smuggling of essential commodities intended for ration shops may inform Mr. Murugiah at 94450-00335 and that the details would be kept confidential, an official press release issued here on Sunday said.

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