Lucknow: Panicked people thronged shops as salt shortage rumours spread across parts of Uttar Pradesh on Friday night. In Moradabad, there were reports of panicked customers flocking to market as rumours flew thick and fast that salt has gone out of shelves and shopkeepers are selling at a premium.
Circle Officer Kotwali area Poonam Mishra said police has been sent to Katra Naj from where reports of black marketing had emanated. She said complaints will be filed against some shopkeepers for allegedly triggering the rumours of salt getting in shortage and charging premium for providing essential commodities. In the Makbara market and Karbula market also people thronged the area to purchase salt because of rumours of shortage and black marketing. Circle officer Vijay Pratap Yadav sent force to get the shops closed as people had lined up to stock essential commodities.
Police sources said shopkeepers were unable to offer change for higher denomination notes so when people came to purchase commodities like salt they offered to sell it without returning the change. For example, some shopkeepers asked for Rs 500 for three kilogrammes of salt as they did not have change. This triggered panic that shopkeepers are black marketing essential commodities because of shortage. ADM City Arun Kumar Srivastava said they will depute magistrates and police to check any attempt to black market essential commodities. Even in Delhi, there were reports of salt being sold at a premium but they could not be confirmed independently.
“I had gone to a mall in Mayur Vihar phase one where salt was out of stock. Then I went to Trilokpuri where salt was being sold at Rs 55 per kilogram as shopkeepers do not have change to offer,” Abhishek Roy, an executive with a telecom major said.