Local administration officials in Gulmit collected money from shops and restaurants in the name of “fine for selling expired products” on Friday, Mountain TV reported. The magistrate, assisted by another official and two policemen, raided shops, claiming that they were inspecting the sale of expired products, an issue the locals have also complained about lately.
According to shopkeepers and restaurant owners, the officials collected huge sum of money from them and went away without providing receipt or any other documentary evidence. Shopkeepers alleged that the magistrate scolded them, searched their shops and demanded money.
The amount of money collected from each shopkeeper ranged from Rs. 500 to Rs. 9,000.
“They collected huge sum of money from almost all shops, including my shop” a shopkeeper told Mountain TV on condition of anonymity. “I asked for receipt against the money, but they didn’t provide any.”
Sources also said that the team, led by the magistrate of Gulmit tehsil, also raided restaurants and broke their crockery.
A source told Mountain TV that money was collected from shops where expired products were found. The source also corroborated the claim of almost all shopkeepers that no receipt or any other documentary evidence was given to them against the money collected.
It is pertinent to mention here that locals have lately complained about the increasing sale of expired products by shopkeepers around the village. Villagers said the action was good, but collection of money without providing receipt was illegal.
“This is a new form of extortion,” said a resident of Gulmit.