Varanasi: Look at the conversation between a shop owner and a customer that went viral on social media in Varanasi on Monday.
Customer: How is the flour?
Shop owner: Rs. 40 per kg
Customer: Why are you charging so high, DM saheb has fixed the rate at Rs. 25 per kg only
Shop owner: Then go and take it from DM saheb only.
Customer- OK, what is the rate of rice?
Shop owner: Rs. 50 per kg bhai
Customer: Bhaiya, this is too expensive, please cut down some.
Shop owner: Go and purchase from DM saheb, I can’t reduce it.
The chat ended with a big shocker to the shop owner when he came to know that the customer in a T-shirt was the district magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma himself accompanied by a bag-packer, who was the SSP Prabhakar Chowdhary.
Infact, it was a reality check as well as surprise raid against the black marketeers after several complaints of high pricing during the lockdown period. Both the officials as common men visited many shops to take first hand account of the situation. The district administration had already issued the price list of essential goods with a strict warning against overpricing.
After the raid over nine grocery and vegetable traders were arrested in Chetganj market on the charges of over pricing and black marketing, while two others were booked for breaching peace under section 151 of code of criminal procedure by Chetganj police.
Besides, four other teams formed by the DM under magistrates also conducted similar surprise inspection and caught 15 other traders in the markets of their respective areas. They were also sent to jail after lodging FIRs at different police stations.