Hyderabad: The North Zone Task Force, along with the Agriculture department officers, conducted simultaneous raids at various places in Marredpally, Ramgopalpet and the Kothapet fruit market and arrested four persons on charges of using chemicals to artificially ripen fruits, on Friday.
Police seized chemicals, two auto-trolleys and other material, all put together worth Rs 7 lakh from them. The arrested persons were D Venkatesh from Marredpally, Imtiaz Ali from LB Nagar and Amith Agarwal from Kothapet, all fruit vendors and Isaac, a car mechanic from Kavadiguda.
According to the police, Venkatesh and Imtiaz Ali, both fruit traders in Marredpally, procured chemicals from dealers in Nagpur and used them to artificially ripen fruits. Agarwal, a fruit trader from Kothapet fruit market, purchased such artificially ripened fruits from dealers in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and sold it to local customers for a 30 per cent commission on the retail price. Isaac procured the ripening chemical from Ahmedabad and sold it to fruit vendors at higher rates. They were using banned artificial ripeners on mango, papaya and banana.
According to the police, Calcium Carbide is banned for artificial ripening of fruits. This has resulted in a switch by the traders to such alternatives as Ethylene powder for the purpose, as they are easily available in the local market and are inexpensive. The arrested persons were handed over to the Marredpally and Saroornagar police for further action.
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