Tamil Nadu

3,300 pressure cookers seized in Ariyalur district

The pressure cooker is the election symbol of the AMMK   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In the first major seizure after the model code of conduct came into force on Friday following the announcement of the Assembly polls in the State on April 6, election officials on Saturday seized about 3,300 pressure cookers -- which is the symbol of the 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 AMMK’s legal wing, was also pasted on the boxes.

According to sources, a Flying Squad comprising revenue and police personnel, intercepted a lorry bound for Thanjavur from Gummidipoondi at Samathuvapuram near Varanavasi. The crew of the lorry reportedly told the officials that they were carrying empty boxes to Thanjavur. The officials then allowed the lorry to proceed. Minutes later, the officials stopped another lorry bound for Thanjavur to Gummidipoondi at the same spot and checked the load. It was found that the lorry was carrying 1,600 pressure cookers.

Interrogation with the crew members revealed that the lorry that was allowed to proceed was also 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 had come into effect immediately after the election dates were announced, transporting materials of an election symbol of a party amounted to violation of the code.

An inquiry was ordered into the seizure of pressure cookers to ascertain whether they were meant for distribution to voters.

An appellate team led by the Project Director, District Rural Development Agency, had also been formed to inquire into the seizure. Based on the reports, further action would be initiated agaisnst those who transported the cookers.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 9:03:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/3300-pressure-cookers-seized-in-ariyalur-district/article33948803.ece

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