Jun 1, 2018

Police tighten probe against govt officials in gutka unit case

Coimbatore: The rural police have intensified their inquiry against the former executive officer (EO) of Kannampalayam town panchayat and an officer from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Coimbatore, in connection with the illegal gutka manufacturing unit case.
According to police sources, the state government banned sales and manufacturing of gutkha products in 2012.
In 2013, FSSAI officials raided a few shops in Tirupur and found gutka. Immediately, the officials registered a case and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 each on the illegal gutkha unit manager Raghuram and owner Amit Singh of New Delhi. While Raghuram had paid the fine amount, Amit Singh is yet to pay the amount. The case is still pending before the FSSAI.
The Coimbatore rural police are currently reinvestigating the case. Police said Raghuram had given fake address to the officials then.
The FSSAI officials had failed to collect full details about Raghuram and Amit Singh. So, the duo continued to operate the unit and manufacture gutka. They had even obtained license from FSSAI to make pan masala.
A few officials from FSSAI, Coimbatore, had visited the illegal gutka manufacturing unit at Kannampalayam since 2013. But they had failed to find out the gutkha manufacturing unit. Now, the police have started investigation against the officials,” said a police source.
“We have asked the Kannampalayam town panchayat officials to submit the resolution details to us. If officials are involved in the case, then they will also be arrested,” said a police officer.
On April 27, a police team raided the illegal gutka manufacturing unit at Kannampalayam and seized 3.24 lakh sachets of gutka, pan masala and raw materials from the unit. Police arrested Raghuram and three migrant labourers in connection with the case.
Later, former president of Kannampalayam town panchayat Thalapathi Murugesan was also arrested by the police.

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