The State Health Department in the Indian state of Punjab seized around 3,400 kg of spices along with the suspected adulterants from the two wholesalers in Field Ganj market in a daylong operation.
The brother duo - Mohan Aggarwal and Bittu - who owned the two stores, were found involved in the business of selling 'adulterated spices'. Their stores have been sealed and a First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against them.
About 145 kg of turmeric powder, 510 kg of broken rice allegedly used as adulterant in turmeric powder, 120 kg of garam masala, 2,000 kg of red chilli powder and 20 kg of adulterant used in the red chilli powder were seized from the store owned by Bittu.
As much as 20 kg of turmeric powder, 90 kg of broken rice, 35 kg of garam masala, 200 kg of adulterants used in garam masala and 90 kg of red chilli powder was found from Mohan Aggarwal's store.
A case was filed against Mohan Aggarwal under Sections 420, 272 and 273 in addition to one under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA). Bittu fled from the spot while the health officials were questioning him and is still at large.
Dr SS Dhir, District Health Officer who was part of the raiding team said the kind of adulterants being used in the spices might cause cancer, induce blindness, or complications in pregnant women apart from causing stomach problems.