Tamil Nadu

3,300 pressure cookers seized in Ariyalur

In the first major seizure after the model code of conduct came into force in the State, election officials on Saturday seized about 3,300 pressure cookers, the symbol of the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), being transported in two lorries in the district.

Pictures of V.K. Sasikala, aide of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, and T.T.V. Dhinakaran, general secretary, AMMK, were pasted on the sides of the boxes containing the cookers. A sticker bearing an image of Velu Karthikeyan, secretary of the AMMK legal wing, too, was pasted on the boxes.

According to sources, a flying squad intercepted a lorry bound for Thanjavur from Gummidipoondi at Samathuvapuram, near Varanavasi. The crew told the officials they were carrying empty boxes to Thanjavur. The officials allowed the lorry to proceed. Minutes later, the officials stopped another lorry bound for Thanjavur from Gummidipoondi at the same spot and checked the load. There were 1,600 pressure cookers.

Interrogation of the crew revealed that the previous lorry that proceeded to Thanjavur was transporting pressure cookers. Following this, the officials alerted other flying squads and static surveillance teams to intercept the lorry. It was subsequently intercepted at the Thirumanur check-post. There were 1,700 pressure cookers in the lorry.

District Collector D. Rathna told The Hindu that 3,300 cookers, estimated to be worth ₹12 lakh, and the two lorries were confiscated and handed over to the District Treasury Office.

Since the model code of conduct was in force since Friday, transporting materials of an election symbol of a party amounted to violation of the code. An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain whether the cookers were meant to be distributed among voters.

An appellate team, led by the Project Director, District Rural Development Agency, has been formed to inquire into the seizure.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 11:33:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/3300-cookers-seized/article33952324.ece

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