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500 Oxygen Devices Seized From South Delhi Eateries, Owner On Run

A case was registered under several sections of IPC, Essential Commodities Act and Epidemic Diseases Act .

Updated
India
3 min read

A day after Delhi police seized over 419 oxygen concentrators from a restaurant in South Delhi’s Lodhi Colony, the police’s investigation revealed that the accused were hiding concentrators in two more restaurants in Khan Market.

As a result, a raid was conducted on the afternoon of Friday, 7 May.

Delhi Police seized 96 oxygen concentrators from Khan Chacha restaurant and another nine from Town Hall in Khan Market on Friday. Now, the total number of oxygen concentrators seized stands at 524.

It may be noted that all three restaurants are owned by Navneet Kalra.

This is in the backdrop of Delhi facing a severe shortage of oxygen over the last few weeks and people being duped online by being made to pay exorbitantly higher prices to buy from the black market.

WHEN DID THE FIRST RAID HAPPEN?

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), South Delhi, Atul Bhatia said that during area patrolling, cops came to know that Nege Ju Restaurant and Bar at Central Market, Lodhi Colony, was found open and some suspicious activity was going on.

On 5 May, the police raided the Nege Ju restaurant in Lodhi Colony and found 32 oxygen concentrators.

“After searching the restaurant, one person was found sitting on a laptop and he was getting orders online for oxygen concentrators by Xpect Everything online portal and on searching the restaurant premises, a total of 32 boxes of Oxygen Concentrators having capacity of 9 litre and 5 Litre each and one box of thermal scanner and another box containing N95 masks were found,” a senior police officer said.

The same day, they arrested the manager, Hitesh Prakash, and three others – Gaurav, Satish Sethi and Vikrant Singh.

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WHAT HAPPENED AFTER?

Then, during the investigation, the manager, Prakash, revealed that he and his associates had stored some more units in Town Hall and Khan Chacha restaurant in Khan Market. This prompted a raid on 7 May.

“A search was conducted and 387 more units of oxygen concentrators were recovered, which were being sold at exorbitant rates in the black market,” Bhatia said, adding that invoices of these oxygen concentrators showed that they were being sold for over Rs 70,000.

In total, the cops said 419 oxygen concentrators had been seized on 5 May.

WHERE HAS THE INVESTIGATION REACHED?

Bhatia said that after verification, it was found that the owner of all three restaurants and bars was Navneet Kalra. The police are currently trying to find him.

“One Navneet and one other person owns these restaurants. Navneet is currently absconding, he will be called for a probe,” DCP South Delhi told ANI.

A case was registered under several sections of IPC, Essential Commodities Act and Epidemic Diseases Act against the four persons.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Matrix Cellular Services Ltd, Gourav Khanna, has been arrested in connection with the seizure. The case has also been transferred to the Delhi Police Crime Branch.

Bhatia said that on detailed interrogation, the accused disclosed their warehouse’s location at Khullar Farm, Mandi village, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Atul Kumar Thakur said.

A detailed investigation is being carried out and efforts are being made to recover more concentrators and nab other offenders behind the black marketing, Thakur said.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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