In UP, thieves steal 750 kg of lemon; farmers deploy guards to protect their orchards
Reports from Kanpur say that unidentified thieves have stolen 15,000 lemons weighing approximately 750 kg from an orchard in Bithoor
Farmers have deployed lathi-wielding guards to protect their 'lemons' from thieves, as the sky-rocketing prices have made this citrus fruit as precious as gold or diamond.
Reports from Kanpur say that unidentified thieves have stolen 15,000 lemons weighing approximately 750 kg from an orchard in Bithoor.
Abhishek Nishad, owner of a 3 bigha orchard in village Shivdin Purva, has lodged a complaint with the police saying that over 15,000 lemons have been stolen from his orchard in the last three days. “We did not have security and it was never required because this area is conducive for citrus cultivation and almost every household has an orchard. But, now we need one,” Nishad told this reporter.
Amarnath Vishwakarma, a police officer, claimed that he has received two complaints of lemon theft from the orchards. "We are looking into the matter. The investigation is on," he said.
With police paying lip service, the villagers have now deployed lathi-wielding security guards around the orchards 24x7 to protect their produce. These security guards charge Rs 450 per day (Rs 150 for every shift of 8 hours).
Nishad claimed that this is the first time that lemon orchards are being guarded. Earlier, no one stole lemons. "In fact, we never cared about it also. But now the situation is different," he said.
Lemons have become a precious commodity as they are selling on a whopping Rs 10 to 20 per piece or Rs 300 per kg whereas in normal times it costs anything between Rs 60-80 per kg. With the early onset of summer, the demand for lemon has increased which in turn has jacked up the price.
Lemons are grown in about 2,000 bighas of orchards in Chaubepur, Bithoor, Katri, Mandhana, and Pariyar regions in Kanpur district. Hundreds of families are dependent on this citrus fruit for their livelihood.
This is not the first time theft of lemon has been reported since its prices have gone up. Earlier, cases of lemon theft were reported from Shahjahanpur and Bareilly. Thieves stole 50 kg of lemons on Sunday night from Delapir Mandi in Bareilly. At the same time, 60 kg of lemon was stolen from the Bajaria vegetable market in Shahjahanpur. Along with this, the thief had also taken 40 kg of onion and 38 kg of garlic from the market in Shahajahnpur.
FIRs have been lodged in both cases under section 380 of the IPC.