Hyderabad: A team of Shamshabad and Shameerpet police officers assisted by the agriculture officials busted a spurious seed racket in the city between 4 and 5 June and arrested seven people who were allegedly selling uncertified and government-banned cotton seeds to farmers in Telangana and neighboring states.

The team seized around 2,500 kg of spurious cotton seeds (BG-III, HT) and 7,000 kg of maize seeds worth Rs. 52 lakh from their possession.

One of the accused, Kalle Srinivas, from Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh, is the managing director of Vikas Bioscience Pvt. Ltd in Shameerpet and the owner of a fertilizer shop, Adharsh Seeds. Cotton is one of the commercial cash crops that is planted extensively by the farmers during the Kharif season. Taking advantage of the situation Srinivas started manufacturing spurious cotton seeds.

Mouleshwar Reddy, a resident of Nandyala in Andhra Pradesh, purchased the processed seeds from Srinivas and transported it to his plant in Kothur village under the Mulugu mandal in Siddipet district. He mixed chemicals with the seeds at his plant and packed them into small plastic pouches weighing 450 grams under the name ‘Raghu-39′. The plastic pouches were supplied by another accused in the case, Ramanjaneyulu from Kurnool. Srinivas distributed the packets in the market to be sold to Telangana farmers through known agents.

The officers seized 600 packets of BG-III cotton seeds from Srinivas’ shop. He revealed the names of his associates during interrogation and the cops arrested them and seized 909 BG-III cotton seed packets and loose cotton seeds weighing 1,900 kg. Also, seven tonnes of maize seeds were seized from his godowns. Srinivas also sells the spurious seed in Chattisgarh, Bihar, and West Bengal.

A case has been booked under various sections of the IPC, the Seeds Act, clauses of the Seeds (Control) Order 1983, and rules for the manufacture use/import/export/and storage of hazardous microorganisms/genetically-engineered organisms.

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