Two men have been arrested after sacks full of onions vanished from street vendors, police have said, as India battles with a full-blown onion crisis, sparked by 400-percent price hikes.
A street vendor from Mumbai, Akbar Shaikh, told police that he had packed onions in 22 sacks before leaving them at his stall last week. When he returned the next day, the goods were gone. He began asking other vendors what happened, and learned that another trader also had his onions stolen.
The case was quickly cracked. CCTV footage revealed that two men were leaving with heavy sacks. At least one of them is clearly seen on footage published in local media.
The officers arrested two suspects, aged 33 and 22. They worked at nearby poultry shops. Overall, the men allegedly stole 168kg (370lbs) of onions, which is worth more than 21.000 rupees ($297). Reported RT
The crime took place as onion prices have skyrocketed by over 400 percent nationwide since spring. The dramatic increase shocked many, causing “a lot of chaos among citizens,” India Today reported.
Prices have risen because a sizable portion of the crops have been destroyed by the late monsoon season this year.
Authorities are trying to solve the situation by importing more onions, banning onion exports, and placing restrictions on the amount of onions retailers can stock.