The police raided shops selling tobacco products and chocolates dipped in sedatives near educational institutions here on Wednesday.

In a check conducted in at least 100 locations by over 15 teams, cases were registered against shopkeepers for selling chocolates that had some sedative taste and tobacco items to adolescents.

Following complaints from parents and teachers that many adolescents were seen chewing chocolates in the suburban pockets, the action followed.

Two days ago, an aggrieved woman (parent) from Bodi in Theni district had complained to the Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan that chocolates with some unknown and harmful sedatives were available in shops near schools in their locality. Findings by the parents revealed that the shopkeepers procured the spurious chocolates from an agent in Usilampatti, Madurai district.

The police formed teams and swung into action, an officer in-charge of monitoring the searches said and added that they seized a large number of chocolates, tobacco products from shopkeepers. “So far, we have booked 30 cases and warned many of the shopkeepers to desist from selling those items near schools and to boys.

The SP said that shops near schools in Avaniapuram, M. Kallupatti, Sholavandan, Peraiyur, T. Kallupatti, Elumalai, Thiruparankundram, Austinpatti, Tirunagar, Checkanoorani and Kalligudi were raided.

In another similar development, the police received complaints that some persons cheated gullible public of curing stomach pain by giving special medicines prepared by them. On information, when a team arrested a man in Avaniapuram, they found that a big gang was indulging in such an offence. Based on his confession, the police arrested 14 more persons from Peraiyur, Tirunagar, Koodal Pudur, Oomachikulam, Appanthirupathi and Usilampatti Taluk and among others. The SP urged the people not to get trapped by sugar-coated words of such persons, who claimed the treatment as “naatu vaithiam” and gave special medicines which were described as “lehiyam”.

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