Officers of the Agriculture Department paid a surprise visit on Saturday afternoon to stores selling fertilisers and pesticides at Doddapet.
Gayathri, assistant director of the Department, led the raid, demanding a look into stock books and bills.
“Put up your rate charts and give official receipts unfailingly. The rules of the Department should be followed compulsorily. Otherwise, your licences will be cancelled,” she said.
This was, however, followed by a verbal duel between the officer and the complaining members of the Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene. They alleged that the shopowners had been informed beforehand by the Department about the bust.
“We had informed Department officers of the variations in the prices of fertilisers in the shops and the exorbitant rates charged by sellers. Following our request for action against shopowners who were cheating farmers, the officer promised to conduct a raid on the shops,” they said. “But the officers failed to inform us, although we were the complainants. They only informed the shopowners, who shut down their shops well in advance.”
K Srinivasa Gowda, Narayana Gowda, Munegowda, Kooteri Nagaraj, Narayanaswamy, Krishnappa, Jagadish, Chinnamma, Harinath, Shashikumar, Vishwanath and other farmer activists were present.
Gayathri, who spoke to Deccan Herald later, admitted that the fertiliser shops had been sent notices several times, because of complaints by farmers. “The sellers had not been issuing receipts before. Now they do. We found no illegal activities or violation of rules in the two shops we inspected,” she said.