Telangana: Traders panic over cash seizures by cops

The only thing the public were told was to carry documents to prove ownership of the cash if they are carrying anything above Rs 50,000

Telangana: Traders panic over cash seizures by cops

Hyderabad: With the Assembly elections in Telangana announced and Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in place, the police are now busy seizing ‘unaccounted cash’ in the State. However, the seizure of cash is creating trepidation among the public especially the trader community in the city.

Mohd Ateeq (name changed) who planned to purchase jewellery for his daughter’s marriage dropped his plans for a few days. “We don’t know what documents to carry or how to prove the cash belongs to us. We need some clarity,” he said.

Even the police personnel appear to be a tad clueless on the issue. The only thing the public were told was to carry documents to prove ownership of the cash if they are carrying anything above Rs 50,000. However, the Election Commission of India guidelines mention that only party workers or party candidates should not carry more than Rs 50,000. “How can we know if a person is a party worker or not. Depending on the case, we are seizing the cash or allowing the person to go if he has a valid reason. In some instances, election authorities or the Income-Tax Department is informed and the amount handed over for further action,” said a police official on condition of anonymity.

A senior police official, however, maintained that the police personnel were asked to be cautious while seizing the cash if persons are carrying it for medical expenses, marriage related purchases and school or college fees. “Any document like hospital receipts or prescription, marriage invitation card, school certificate or admission form along with bank passbook will be helpful in such cases,” said the official.

Meanwhile, the Hyderabad Kirana Merchants Association president Damodar Das said traders from Andhra Pradesh and other districts of the State were keeping away after coming to know about police checking and seizing cash. “Small time traders don’t maintain records and prefer cash transaction over online transactions. If their amount is seized it means financial problems,” he said adding in coming days there will be more problems if clear guidelines are not issued.

Another trader pointed out that they usually shift daily cash from shops to safe places. “It is a Catch-22 situation for us, we can neither keep cash at the shops nor carry it to safe places,” said another trader.-

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