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Punjab Seed Scam: Karnal Agri Seeds Owner Arrested by SIT

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

Owner of Karnal Agri Seeds, Lalhwinder Singh alias Lucky Dhillon was arrested by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in Dera Baba Nanak. The arrest was in connection with the paddy seed scam, taking the number of accused in the case to three. 

According to the statement made by the police, Lucky Dhillon had made an unauthorised purchase of PR-128 and PR-129 seed varieties from some farmers who were given these on a trial basis by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). 

Investigations show that Dhillon had delivered these seeds to Brar Seeds of Ludhiana, whose owner, Harwinder Singh alias Kaka Brar was the first person to be arrested in the scam. 

The state-level Special Investigation Team (SIT) is trying to get to the bottom of the scam which involved alleged sale of non-certified seeds of new paddy varieties that were being tested or grown by PAU Ludhiana. 

Meanwhile, Kaka Brar and the second accused, Baljinder Singh, alias Ballian, have been remanded in two day police custody. 

The DGP said that the SIT had sought the remand of the accused from the court on Wednesday to further investigate the case and identify others involved in the scam. 

The seeds in question have so far been developed by PAU in limited quantities, to be sold directly to the farmers. None of the dealers was yet authorised to sell these seeds on a commercial basis, without the express authorization of PAU. 

SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia had earlier alleged that Lucky Dhillon was a close associate of cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa. However, Randhawa has denied the charge, claiming that his name was being dragged into the issue to “gain cheap political mileage”. 

Baljinder is also a member of the Farmers Association formed by PAU to give information to farmers related to new seeds and techniques. He was given the newly developed PR 128 and PR 129 of paddy seeds last year by PAU for sowing on a trial basis to assess the results. However, he used the consequent crop to mass-produce seeds and further sold them without any authorisation. 

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