Hyderabad: Interstate illegal BT-3 cotton seeds scam busted

Hyderabad: Two people arrested for illegally procuring and transporting banned cotton seeds across three states, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka, by the Special Operations Team (SOT), LB Nagar Zone along with officials of the agricultural department. The team seized 30 bags worth 15 Quintals of spurious Bacillus thuringiensis (BT-3) variety of seeds along with two mobile devices, and a Honda city car.

Acting on credible information, the SOT along with officials of the agricultural department raided the house of the accused Mannem Lakshmi Narayana (48) in LB Nagar on 1 May. Narayana had loaded his car with the banned seeds along with Namburi Srinivasa Rao (50), the other accused.

The duo have been procuring the banned seeds from Narayana Reddy in Karnataka, and have been supplying the same to farmers illegally across Telangana, Maharashtra, and Orissa for the past three years. They sold the seeds under the pretext of providing a higher yield than the permitted seeds.

According to the police, they purchased the seeds at rupees 500 per kilogram and sold them at Rs 1200 per kg without any valid government licence.

However, the supplier, Narayana Reddy is reportedly absconding.

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Narayana and Srinivasa Rao are repeat offenders and have been booked under various sections of the Seeds Act, 1966, and Environment Protection Act, 1986 of Vanasthalipuram police station.

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