Kalaiya mayor held on charge of selling substandard lentils, released on bailThe mayor was taken into custody after the laboratory test of the sample confirmed that the lentils were of substandard quality.
Rajesh Raya, the mayor of Kalaiya Sub-Metropolitan City who had been arrested on charge of selling substandard lentils, was released on bail on Wednesday late evening. Eleven other people who were held in connection to the case were also freed along with Raya.
Police had arrested Raya on Tuesday on charge of selling substandard lentils from his store to be distributed as part of food relief for the families affected by the ongoing lockdown. Eleven others, including five ward chairpersons of the sub-metropolis, had also been detained at different times earlier for their alleged involvement in the incident.
The District Police Office in Bara investigated the incident on black marketeering charges and submitted its report to the Office of District Attorney. District Attorney Mahendra Thapa recorded the statements of the accused and filed a charge sheet against them at the District Administration Office on Wednesday.
Chief District Officer Rudra Prasad Pandit issued a ruling to release Raya and other people held on the same incident on bail. Raya and lentil trader Tejkaran Jain were freed after paying a bail of Rs 281,000 each while others paid Rs 60,000 for their release.
“Mayor Raya and other accused were freed after paying the bail amount as announced by the chief district officer,” said Superintendent of Police Krishna Pangeni.
The security personnel had sealed the grocery store run by Raya and sent the sample of the lentils collected from the store to the Regional Food Technology and Quality Control Office in Hetauda for a test on Saturday. Raya was taken into custody after the laboratory test of the sample confirmed that the lentils were of substandard quality.
Following numerous complaints from the locals, the security personnel had raided Raya’s store and seized around 3.2 tonnes of lentils. The mayor had allegedly forced the ward chiefs to purchase the lentils from his store unsold for years for the municipal relief programme.