District Collector told to take action against ration dealers

Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government has directed the Malappuram District Collector to invoke the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Essential Commodities Act, if necessary, against ration dealers who were threatening to close down their shops.

An official release issued by the office of the Minister for Food and Civil Supplies C. Divakaran said that strong action would be taken against those disrupting ration supplies to tribal people and backward sections of society. It was the duty of the officials to ensure smooth functioning of the rationing system and they were being accorded all protection to do so.

Probe blocked

The release said that two persons, who had obstructed the rationing controller while conducting an inquiry into irregularities in distribution of ration articles in Nilambur, were arrested. The court had remanded them to custody for 14 days.

The controller and his team of officials had been conducting an inquiry into the complaints about irregularities in the distribution of rations by various ration shops to tribal areas in Nilambur.

In protest against this, some ration dealers had tried to manhandle the controller and his team of officials and seized and destroyed documents from the officials. The police arrested the two and registered cases against 21 others.

The dealers were threatening strike in protest against this.

The release said such actions would be in violation of the terms of license, orders of the Supreme Court and the Kerala Rationing Order.

Hence, the Collector and the District Supply Officer had been asked to take legal action against the dealers. The government had taken steps for the protection of the officials.

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