Berhampur, Oct 21 (LocalWire): With Diwali round the corner, police today launched a crackdown on illegally-run fire cracker shops at Balunkeswar market -one of the major firecracker markets in southern Odisha – located in Goshaninuagon police station limits here.
Firecrackers worth Rs 3 crores have been seized from 70 shops in the market, which generally witness huge crowds ahead of the festival of lights.
Police seized the firecrackers by breaking the locks of shops, as shop owners did not turn up despite police asking them to be present.
The traders might have procured the firecrackers from different places, including Sivakasi, a major cracker manufacturing centre of the country.
‘We sent notice to 46 traders on Sunday and asked them to be present at their shops and show valid documents during verification by police. But no one turned up.
After waiting for some hours, we broke open the locks of the shops in presence of the executive magistrate and seized the firecrackers,’ said inspector in charge, Goshaninuagon police station Sumit Soren.
There was no untoward incident reported during the raids even as police forces were deployed in the market.
One of the members of Balunkeswar fire traders’ association, with condition of anonymity said they sought permission from the district administration to sell firecrackers before Diwali.