Silchar: Police seized 47 bags of fertiliser (urea) from two vehicles and arrested two men from Nilkantapur under Bazaricherra police station in southern Assam’s Karimganj district on Wednesday.

The in-charge of Nagra police outpost (which falls under the purview of Bazaricherra police station) J. P. Das told reporters on Thursday that the police laid a trap on the Lowairpua-Kanhmun road in Nilkantapur, about 60km from Karimganj town, on Wednesday evening. Two vehicles (TR-05 B-1770 and MZ-08 2902), going towards the Mizoram side, arrived there (Nilkantapur) after which they were stopped by the cops and searched, Das, added.

“Altogether, 47 bags of urea were found concealed underneath sacks of grocery items. The fertilisers and the two vehicles were seized and two men identified as Zuala Halam (52), and Abdul Hannan (32) were held. Halam hails from Kahnmun in Mizoram’s Mamit district, while Hannan is a resident of Jherjheri in Karimganj district,” Das said.

“The seized urea and vehicles and the apprehended men were handed over to Bazaricherra police station on Wednesday night. The arrested persons, grilled for long, were produced before a court in Karimganj on Thursday and sent to judicial custody,” Das said.

A source said, “investigations have revealed that the fertilisers were about to be smuggled to Mizoram. A kilogram of urea costs around Rs. 6 in the wholesale market in Assam, whereas it is much higher in retail markets across the state and even higher in Mizoram (up to Rs. 40-50 per kg) and this is the reason a lot of rackets, with the objective to pocket huge sums of money, try to run the clandestine business of smuggling the item to the neighbouring state”.

A section of Nilkantapur residents raised questions over the police’s role claiming that the cops, besides Halam and Hannan, had arrested two more persons, including a woman, but released them secretly in exchange for a huge sum of money. Nagra police, however, dismissed the allegation and said it was baseless.

It may be mentioned that a CID team of the Assam police had visited Cachar district’s Silchar on February 7 for carrying out a probe in connection with the illegal trade of fertilisers in Barak Valley. The team, which came from Guwahati, visited different places, including Dholai, Bhaga, Nutanbazar and Lailapur among others to gather information about the unlawful transportation of fertilisers in/from Barak Valley. Around two to three weeks before the CID’s visit, the Cachar police had raided several places and nabbed many people suspected to be involved in the illegal trade of fertilisers.

On March 20, a man, Jahangir Alam Choudhury, was arrested by the CID from a hotel in the Chamragudam area of Silchar town for his suspected nexus with a racket running the unlawful trade of fertilisers in Barak Valley. Choudhury, who hails from Chamragudam, was taken to Guwahati later on that day for interrogation.

Last month, the CID busted a major fertiliser scam in Assam and arrested nine people from different parts of the state. The apprehended people included owners of various retail and wholesale outlets and hoarders.

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