A trader from West Bengal got a surprise when he opened his shop for the day on Tuesday morning. Akshay Das returned to his shop and realised that he had been burgled. The thieves had probably snuck in during the previous night. However, Das found his cashbox intact as it seemed like the thieves hadn't touched a single paisa from his cashbox. Instead, Akshay's loss was his produce.
It seems that due to a severe shortage after unseasonal rains damaged onion crops, they've become far more valuable to many people as compared to gold or cash. The prices of onions soared to more than Rs 100 per kilo in West Bengal Das found that several sacks of onions were missing from his shop. According to Das, the thieves had stolen onions worth Rs. 50,000, along with some garlic and ginger.
The price of onions skyrocketed in early October this year after heavy unseasonal rainfall struck Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana. The untimely rainfall locked the latest onion produce in wet fields throughout onion growing state. The government has already placed an order for 6,090 tonnes of onions from Egypt in order to fight the crisis in the country.
Akshay Das' case is not the only one. Two months back, onions worth one lakh were stolen from a farmer's store house in Maharashtra. Onion grower Rahul Bajirao Pagar approached the police on September 23, saying he had kept a 'summer stock' of 25 tonne onions in 117 plastic crates at his store house in Kalwan taluka, police inspector Pramod Wagh said. However, on the evening of September 22, he found the entire stock worth nearly Rs 1 lakh missing, Pagar said in the complaint. Based on his complaint, a case of theft has been registered and search is on for his stock in local markets as well as in neighbouring Gujarat, Wagh said.
(With inputs from agencies)