Panic among people as more cases of plastic rice

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Several complaints of ‘plastic rice’ being used have been received in Hyderabad after a report of the same in a platter served to a customer at a hotel was reported earlier this week.

The complaint, received on Tuesday stated that plastic rice was used by a hotel in Saroornagar. Since then officials have been receiving similar complaints from various places, news reports said.

With more number of complaints pouring in, Telangana State Civil Supplies Department is collecting samples of the food grain from different suppliers and has sent for analysis on Tuesday night.

Findings of the tests are expected to come on Wednesday. A Task Force of the department — comprising four officers and headed by retired police officer Sampath — had collected samples from Kukatpally, Meerpet, Saroornagar and other places.

“We are awaiting the test findings to initiate action. A person, Ashok, approached Meerpet police alleging that the rice he purchased from a miller was made of plastic,” Civil Supplies Commissioner CV Anand was reported as saying.

On finding that complainant purchased rice from Laxmi Rice Mill, the team collected sample of rice from it as well.

Though unconfirmed reports about ‘plastic rice’ had been circulating through social media and WhatsApp for the past few days in the city, the first controversy erupted three days ago when a Telugu TV news channel employee charged that he found plastic rice in the biryani which he purchased from a hotel in Saroornagar.

When he went to the hotel for questioning, he was bashed up by people there for triggering speculation that it was an attempt to “suppress the plastic rice issue”.

A resident of Nandanavanam Colony, Ashok, and inmates of a boys’ hostel in Ameerpet and another person Chakri of Begum Bazar alleged that the rice they had bought from different sellers was ‘plastic rice’.

“Some of them claimed that when they hurled the lumps of the cooked plastic rice, they were bounced. Inmates of the Ameerpet hostel charged that they were served an egg of plastic and it didn’t smell like the original one,” the police said. However, no criminal cases were registered so far in the incident.

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