In 2015, the Hyderabad High Court had called those who used carcinogens to artificially ripen fruits as 'worse than terrorists.' But that does not seen to have deterred many criminals who seem to be poisoning fruits to make a quick buck.
On Saturday, Hyderabad police took four people into custody for selling artificially ripened fruits and for using Calcium Carbide, China chemical powder and other chemicals.
The accused have been identified as- Abdul Raheem, Akheel Babu, Mohammad Akbar and Shaik Jabbar, all residents of Old city.
Two teams comprising of Commissionerâ€™s Task Force and South Zone police in Hyderabad conducted simultaneous raids at various places of Moghalpura, Bhavaninagar, Falaknuma and Hussainialam area.
â€śWe got information from reliable source about such cases. This is the first case in 2017. Last year there were several cases registered in various parts of the city,â€ť Inspector Madhu Mohan Reddy told TNM.
The police seized huge quantities of calcium carbide, ethylene powder and other chemicals which the accused were allegedly using to ripen mangoes.
â€śIn such cases, the accused tend to buy large quantity of raw fruits from outside, then artificially ripen them so that they can keep the fruits for a longer period of time,â€ť he added.
Calcium Carbide is a dangerous and corrosive chemical used to make fertilizers, and it is known to have carcinogenic properties.
Fruits that are ripened artificially tend to look fresh, eventually attracting more consumers.
However, the substance is extremely harmful, and may cause cancer, permanent eye damage, ulcers and even lung issues.
A case has been registered against the four accused under section 272 (Adulteration of food or drink intended for sale) and 273 (Sale of noxious food or drink) of IPC.