The police have seized 15 tonnes of ration rice and rice flour from three rice mills here and are on the lookout for the rice mill owners who went underground after the seizure.
Sources said three rice mills and godowns attached to these mills were checked on Tuesday after Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kovilpatti, Udhayasooriyan received information about the ration rice stocked in these places. Revenue Divisional Officer, Kovilpatti, Sankaranarayanan, tahsildar Amudha, and Inspector of Police, Kovilpatti East Police Station, Sujith Anand participated in the raid.
After breaking the locks in the rice mills following permission given by Collector K. Senthil Raj, the police raided the rice mill on Kadalaikaaran Street belonging to one Kannan and seized six tonnes of ration rice. The team also raided the rice mill and the godown in the same area, both belonging to Vijay to seize six tonnes of ration rice and rice flour reportedly made from the ration rice. When the officials entered the rice mill and godown owned by one Marimuthu, they could seize three tonnes of ration rice and rice flour. In all, 12 tonnes of ration rice and three tonnes of rice flour were seized and handed over to the Civil Supplies CID Police for further investigation. A hunt is on to nab Kannan, Vijay and Marimuthu.
Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police, Civil Supplies CID, Bhaskaran, who inspected the check-posts at Kaliyakkavilai and Netta, asked the police personnel to be vigilant. “Once the ration rice is seized, the police should start investigation for arresting the master brain behind the smuggling of ration rice so as to put an end to the smuggling of the essential commodity meant for the poor in Tamil Nadu,” he said.