In its drive against spurious seeds, police in Telangana's Nalgonda district have seized 220 tonnes of spurious seeds worth Rs 6 crore and also arrested 13 persons.
Twenty tonnes of cotton seeds worth Rs 4 crore and 200 tonnes of paddy and vegetable seeds worth Rs 2 crore were seized from them.
Nalgonda district Superintendent of Police A.V. Ranganath told media persons that the accused were arrested during raids in different places in Nalgonda and Hyderabad.
The gang had procured rejected seeds from different sources and colour them. The same was packed in attractive packets under the brand name Nairuthi Seeds and was ready for dispatch.
Police have identified Srinivas Reddy, a chartered accountant, as the kingpin of the racket.
He had obtained for production of paddy and maize seeds under Nairuthi Seeds Private Limited located in Hyderabad but started marketing spurious seeds for easy money.
Inspector General of Police (IG) of West Zone Stephen Ravindra revealed that spurious seeds worth RS 27.96 crore have been seized in 141 cases this year from the 13 districts under West Zone.
He said 1,700 quintals of cotton seeds, 350 quintals of chilli seeds and 2,500 quintals of paddy seeds were seized.
The cases were booked for selling seeds without valid certificates, for selling loose seeds, selling seeds past expiry date, duplicate seeds sale and illegal storage of seeds.
The police official said stringent action would be taken against persons involved in production and marketing of spurious seeds. The Preventive Detention (PD) Act would be invoked against the accused in spurious seeds cases.
Last week, Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy, Director General of Police M. Mahender Reddy and other senior officials had reviewed the ongoing efforts to check spurious seeds across the state.
The Minister expressed satisfaction over the raids conducted by the task force set up by police and irrigation department.
He said Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Reddy has directed the two departments to come down heavily on those indulging in production and sale of spurious seeds.
The DGP had revealed that this year so far 6,511 quintals of spurious seeds were seized and 209 cases were booked against 320 people.