Government urged to come out with a suitable law

Members of the local unit of the Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners’ Association have urged the government to draw up a foolproof plan to prevent the rice meant for public distribution from being transported illegally. The police should not torture lorry owners or drivers for merely transporting the rice from one place to another, even though they were not involved in the illegal activity, they said.

There were many incidents of lorry owners and drivers being arrested and cases booked against them, while no action was being taken against those directly indulging in such activities.

Speaking to presspersons here on Saturday, joint secretary of the State unit of the federation Syed Saifulla and president of the Davangere unit of the federation Vali Mohan Kumar said that lorry owners or drivers would be ready to transport any commodity, if correct fair was offered.

The lorry owners would be cautious, if they were asked to transport wood, liquor or molasses.

Whenever such a situation arose, lorry owners would ask the parties to provide excise permit or any other legal document for transporting such goods. However, no such documents or permits were necessary for transporting rice. Therefore, the government should start issuing a permit for transporting rice from one place to another, even within a city.

The federation urged the police to book cases against the depot manager of the Karnataka State Food and Civil Supplies Department and the transporter of rice from the warehouse to a private mill or to any place other than fair price depots. Citing a recent incident in which the driver of a lorry was arrested at Harapanahalli for transporting rice meant for public distribution, Mr. Saifulla said that the office-bearers of the federation were planning to go to Harapnahalli and get the cases booked against depot manager Narayana Murthy and the person, who had entered into a contract with the lorry owner for transporting rice.

Meanwhile, the federation has welcomed the decision of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to provide all below the poverty line families with rice at Re. one a kg.

The federation has also written letters to the Chief Minister, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao and Horticulture Minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa in this regard.

  • ‘Lorry owners, drivers should be made scapegoats’

  • ‘Cases should be booked against actual perpetrators’