In a joint operation the Special Operations Team (SOT) along with the officials of the Agricultural Department, nabbed ten people and seized contraband worth Rs 95 lakh, an official said on Saturday. Acting on specific information, the sleuths of the Special Operations Team, Medchal zone, Rajendranagar zone along with the officials of the Agricultural Department, Medchal Police Station and Chevella Police Station conducted joint operations and nabbed 10 persons who had stored spurious cotton seeds to sell to gullible farmers, said the official.
According to Cyberabad Police Commissioner, Stephen Ravindra, “3.35 tons of spurious (BG-III/HT) cotton seeds and 14,850 empty pouches that are banned by the Government of Telangana, all worth Rs 95 lakh were recovered from them.” Arrests were made in two separate cases. Five people were arrested in the first case filed at the Medchal police station.
Abdul Razzak, Mallikarjuna, Srinivas, Harish and Abdul Rafi belonging to different districts of Telangana, were arrested. Three others, including Kamlesh Patel of Gujarat, were found absconding, said the Police Commissioner. Further information revealed that Abdul Razzak was a resident of Bhainsa, Nirmal district. He was in the cotton seed business with Jaani, Harish, Srinivas, Ilaiah, and Mallikarjun.
As per the police, Abdul Razzak bought BG3/HT cotton seeds from one Kamlesh Patel of Gujrat to Hyderabad with the help of Srinivas, Harish, Ilaiah and Mallikarjun. He dumped the seed in a room on the railway station road, Medchal with the help of Jani and Rafi. A total of 2.53 tons of seeds was stored and was to be packed in pouches and was to be sold to farmers of Telangana, the police added.
Based on credible information, the SOT, Cyberabad, Medchal Zone, together with local police and agriculture department authorities raided the accused’s premises and recovered 2.53 tonnes of BG3/HT bogus cotton seed, which is prohibited by the Telangana government. In the second case, SOT Rajendranagar and Chevella police station arrested five accused. They were identified as seed supplier Koha Turkha Alisha and pouches suppliers Raju, Venkatesh, Venu and Mallaiah, all residents of Telangana.
Two other accused Babu Rao and Roshaiah were absconding. According to the police, the accused Kotha Turkha Alisha alias Basha was a native of Govindinne village of Nandyala district in Andhra Pradesh. He worked as a cotton seed organiser for Gouthami seeds in Kurnool, collecting foundation seeds from seed firms and distributing them to farmers for seed production.
They added that after harvesting the cotton crop, they were delivered to ginning firms for seed separation. Following this, he used to return the seeds to the aforementioned companies for germination testing, said police. “In 2023, he gave 5 tonnes of seed to Gouthami Seeds Company, Kurnool, of which 800 kg failed the germination/GOT test due to contamination with BT-III/HT cotton and was returned to him. He was intended to annihilate (devitalize) it. Instead, he stored it in a rented room on the outskirts of Kurnool before selling it to farmers. He was aware of the market need for BG-III/HT cotton seeds and desired to sell them for personal financial gain,” added the police.
According to his plan, he relocated it to the outskirts of Chevella and afterwards contacted a man named Raju for pouches. Raju works as a Printing Operator at Sree Nitya Packers in Uppal’s IDA. Raju promised to provide Alisha with pouches and contacted Venkatesh and Venu for material and rolls. Venkatesh had Printing Press Company pouches at IDA Uppal and approached Babu Rao for rolls, they said. Babu Rao later arranged the rolls for Venkatesh. Finally, Raju received the following pouches: Nuziveed Seeds Pouches- Raja 430, Winner 4700. Prabhat Seeds- PCH-9620 BT-2 – 6300 pouches from Venkatesh and Raghu -39- 1920 pouches, Laminar Seeds- OSIA-559 BT-2-380 pouches from Venu, TAG Seeds- Jai Jagadamba BG-II -620 pouches from Venu. They placed the seed in the pouches and intended to sell it to Chevella farmers, they added.
Mallaiah, a farmer from the Vikarabad district, was selling BG-III/HT cotton seeds under the brand name “Pallavi Seeds” provided by Roshaiah of the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. He was selling HT seed to farmers at a higher price i.e. Rs 1000 per packet, which is against the law in Telangana, they further said. On the evening of June 9, 2023, Raju, Venkatesh, and Venu arrived in Chevella with pouches to meet Alisha. Meanwhile, they were apprehended red-handed by the SOT, Rajendranagar Zone, Agriculture Department officials, and Chevella Police near Saadvi Hotel, Shadnagar Road, Chevella Mandal, they added.
Similarly, Mallaiah of Siddulur was apprehended with 93 BG-III/HT cotton seed packets (Pallavi seed) while selling bogus seeds to farmers in the Chevella area, according to credible evidence, they stated.