Frontlist News | 1.5 lakh illegally printed NCERT books seized from Meerut, kingpin flees after burning some of them
The value of the seized books is estimated to be more than Rs 50 crore. Sachin Gupta, the kingpin of the illegally printed books, managed to flee from the factory after burning some books.
Meerut: A joint team of Military Intelligence (MI), UP STF and local police seized over 1,50,000 illegally printed NCERT books during a raid carried out at a facility near Kashigaon in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh.
The value of the books is estimated to be more than Rs 50 crore. The kingpin identified as Sachin Gupta has reportedly gone missing after burning some books in the main factory of Mohkampur Enclave near Sabzimandi.
During the first week of August, the local Military Intelligence officials received input about suspicious activities in a Godown near Kashigaon, Achronda Road, under Partapur police station. To rule out any possibility of anti-national activities ahead of Independence Day in the area, the sleuths of MI carried out discreet surveillance of the facility. After gathering further inputs, it was learnt that the said facility houses a large number of illegally printed books of NCERT. The input was further shared with the local Special Task Force (STF) of UP police and the same was developed jointly.
Finding a suitable opportunity, the facility was raided by a joint team of MI, UP STF and local police at about 2:30 PM on Friday. The huge recovery of books surprised everyone in the team. The large numbers of books recovered are yet to be counted systematically. However, it is believed there are more than 1,50,000 illegally printed NCERT books for various classes starting from Class 1. The roughly estimated worth of these books is said to be more than Rs 50 crore. It is learnt that these books were being supplied to buyers in multiple states including UP, Uttarakhand and Delhi.
Reportedly, the books were transferred in vehicles with BJP’s flag to avoid any suspicion. 17 male workers including the supervisor, Subham (30) and 5 women workers were apprehended from the facility by the police. The women workers were subsequently allowed to go. However, all male workers are still under detention and the questioning is under progress.
The owner of the facility, Sachin Gupta (30) fled the factory during the raid and reached his main factory in Mohkampur Enclave near Sabzimandi at Delhi Road and managed to destroy similar books by burning them. By the time police reached the main factory, most of the books were burnt. The police team managed to seize six printing machines from the factory.
The seized items including books are being examined by the police. The cops are also questioning detained individuals for further leads to unearth the involvement of others in the crime. Police say a case would be registered with appropriate charges.
The seizure has undoubtedly revealed a one-of-its-kind fraudulent activity involving crores of rupees. It is surprising that such facilities were being run unnoticed.