A day after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee lashed out at the Centre over the high prices of onion and potato in the state, teams of Kolkata Police paid surprise visits to several markets in and around the city to check hoarding of the two vegetables.

A police officer said, “This is not new. We regularly conduct inspections of markets. But since the price of both these vegetables has been rising quite sharply in the past few weeks, we have stepped up our inspections to check any kind of hoarding.”

The price of potatoes in local city markets have touched Rs 40 a kilogram while onion is being sold at Rs 80 per kilogram.
Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday (November 5), “Prices of potato and onion have shot up alarmingly. I would write a letter to the Prime Minister to either give us the powers to control the prices or the Centre should control them. The new Act has snatched the state’s powers. It is unfortunate and alarming that neither the Centre is being able to manage the prices nor is it allowing the state to do so.”

The chief minister has asked the police to check whether a section of traders was hoarding vegetables which could have led to their spike in prices. Therefore, four teams of the Kolkata Police Enforcement Branch started inspecting markets.

The Kolkata police instructed shop owners not to sell onions and potatoes along with other vegetables at a high price and not to store huge quantities of onions, potatoes and vegetables which may lead to a price hike.