Bihar state co-operative marketing union Limited (BISCOMAUN), an apex co-operative marketing society on Sunday stopped selling onions at subsidised rate of Rs 35 per kg following law and order problem in the state. BISCOMAUN today diverted 15 truckloads of onion to neighbouring poll-bound Jharkhand state.
BISCOMAUN chairman, Sunil Kumar Singh on Sunday said the employees engaged in sale of onions were injured as the crowd of onion purchasers attacked them at Ara, 55 kms from here. In Patna, the district administration today warned the management with the registration of FIRs if they continued the sale. The administration has claimed heavy crowd of onion buyers which went to a distance of one km at Gandhi maidan, created traffic problem.
The staff of the union had to wear helmets to prevent themselves from stone-throwing customers. Two groups of purchasers had clashed at Ara yesterday to get out of turn onion and in the subsequent stone pelting its employees were also hurt. In the state capital, the mobile vans of BISCOMAUN sold two kgs of onions at Eco park, Kankarbagh, Rajendra Nagar, Patliputra Colony, and Boring Road attracting large number of customers. This led to traffic congestion too.
BISCOMAUN had started subsidised onion shops on Monday and within a week it had to stop its business due to law and order problem. On one day, its chairman claimed, the organisation sold 1.05 lakh kgs of onion.
BISCOMAUN today announced rationing of onion and declared the subsidised onion would be sold only to the poor families arranging marriage of their daughters. They will have to produce the wedding invitation cards at the counter.
As onion prices soared to Rs 100 plus in the market, cases of large-scale theft of onion are being reported. Dheeraj Kumar, a cold storage owner of Fatuah, 30 km from here on Saturday night. In His FIR at Fatuah police station, he alleged 328 sacks of onion worth Rs 8 lakhs were stolen. Thieves broke down the warehouse and looted onions.
In another incident, Akshay Das, a trader lost 487 sacks of onion valued at Rs 27 lakhs from his godown. Police found them in Bihar trekking movement of trucks from Sutahata in Kolkata.
Indian customs authorities intercepted 14 trucks at Raxaul on Indo-Nepal border and recovered onions worth Rs 5 crores from these trucks. They were being taken to Birganj in Nepal.
In adjoining Banaras, customers are being supplied onion by mortgaging their AADHAR cards too. The shopkeepers have promised to return the cards after supply normalises. This is being done to prevent action by the authorities and avoid charges of hoarding by the traders.
Meanwhile, RJD chief,Lalu Prasad in his tweet from Ranchi jail commented "onion has once again become pomegranate" as onions are selling costlier than the fruit.