Friday, November 29, 2019 4:40 pm
A truck carrying onion worth 30,000 dollars was emptied out by thieves in India even as similar crimes have been reported amid soaring prices for the vegetable that is a staple in the Indian diet.
Prices of onions have spiked to 100 rupees (1.40 dollars) per kilogramme from 20 rupees since last month, due to crop failures, leading the government to ban onion exports and order imports.
The truck, transporting 40 tons of onions embarked on a trip from the state of Maharashtra and was to reach its customer in Uttar Pradesh by Nov. 22, but was found empty hundreds of kilometres away in the Madhya Pradesh state.
“We arrested three of the transporter’s staff behind the theft since Thursday.
“They confessed they sold most of the onions and hid the rest of it.
“You know the onion is so expensive, so our priority is to make recoveries,” local police officer Gajendra Kanwar said.
The charges against the accused include criminal breach of trust with a maximum punishment of a three-year jail-term if found guilty.
Amid a shortage of onions, more such thefts have been reported this week.
On Wednesday, 50 sacks weighing 5kg were stolen from a shop in Gujarat state, while a similar incident was reported from West Bengal as well.
The spiralling prices have left many an Indian teary-eyed and angry.
The onion is ubiquitous in Indian cooking and is widely seen as a poor man’s vegetable.
Onion prices have long been a sensitive political issue in India, with rising prices leading to the fall of state governments and widespread protests in the past. (dpa /NAN)