Shillong: Rumours of salt shortages hit Meghalaya with panic stricken people buying salt at exorbitant prices which forced the state government on Friday to launch an immediate crack down and announce that there is enough stock of salt in the state.
"There is an unfounded rumour of salt shortages in the state capital early this morning which immediately spread all over the state," Principal Secretary Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs PW Ingty told a news agency.
"I have cross checked with my counterparts in Assam and other states as well and confirmed that it was just a rumour," Ingty said, adding that there is enough stock of salt for the next six months in the state.
According to the senior government official, artificial crisis was created in the state capital Shillong, Tura, Jowai and Nongstoin and district deputy commissioners were directed to take stock of the situation and give necessary public announcement.
Retail outlets exhausted their supplies early today as soon as the rumour of salt shortages spread. In Shillong, there were reports of retailers trying to illegally sell salt at Rs 150 a kilogram, police said.
A police crackdown was also launched simultaneously across the state against dealers and retailers who were trying to take advantage of the situation.
Several persons were also rounded up and detained, police said even as a full report in this regard is awaited.