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Cops involved in fuel grey market
Correspondent IMPHAL, Aug 2:
Published on 3 Aug. 2010 1:21 AM IST
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State security personnel involved in black marketing of petrol and diesel were exposed Monday when a major fire broke out from fuel in the family quarters of 2nd Manipur Rifles (MR) in Imphal and razed over 30 residential quarters along with belongings.
Properties worth several lakhs and five vehicles parked at the quarters inside the Battalion headquarters of 2nd Manipur at Deulahland turned into ashes in the blaze which occurred at about 7.30 am.
The fire broke out due to a short circuit in one of the quarters belong to one Havildar Ajit of the 2nd MR storing petrol and diesel. However, Ajit sustained minor injuries in the effort to douse the fire. According to police, five fire tenders were pressed into service and it took around three hours to douse the flame.
However, the incident exposed the ugly face behind the grey market of vehicle fuel in the state amid the tragedy of around 30 families, as numbers of barrels filled with petrol and diesel were rolled out from almost all the quarters by fire fighters and local people assisting in dousing the fire.
The complex of 2nd MR was being used as parking point for oil tankers procuring petrol and diesel after they were escorted by police from the way before reaching Imphal as they usually vanished in the midway. These missing of petrol and diesel tankers detained by the police had been talks of the people for such a long time since state started facing scarcity of petroleum products.
The incident was more highlighted when police conducted raid in other quarters in the complex.
Further, State Consumers Affairs, Food and Public Distribution minister, Y Erabot charged the police and state security personnel including top officials indulge in the black market of petrol and diesel in the state taking advantage of the uncertainty on NH-39 and NH-53.
The minister along with officials of CA&FP department conducted raid into the quarters of the personnel of MR and seized barrels containing petrol and diesel. Many filled barrels were also found hiding in the drainage and bushes nearby the quarters. Most of the items were discovered from the quarters of the officials of state security and police officers located inside the complex. “It is an unfortunate thing that police and security personnel are indulged in black marketing of petrol and diesel. It is the complete failure of the state home department. I will put up the matter to the level of Union home minister”, Erabot talking to reporters during the raid said.
He also said that all the seized containers and item will be put into his custody.
“I will take custody of the seized item as handing over these items to the police will be like handing over thing to the thief,” the minister lamented.

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