Close on the heels of ₹2.7 lakh-worth tomatoes being stolen from farmland in Belur taluk on Tuesday, a gang of three hijacked and fled with a truck laden with two tonnes of tomatoes under the garb of a road rage incident in Chikkajala on Saturday. The prices of tomatoes have shot up to between ₹120 to ₹150 per kg in the country.
The victim, a farmer from Hiriyur, Chitradurga district, was transporting a load of tomatoes from his farm to the city on Saturday. While on the way, the accused followed the truck and intercepted it near RMC Yard, accusing the farmer of ramming the car into theirs and damaging it.
When the farmer tried to reason with them, the trio assaulted him before taking control of the truck and drove towards Chikkajala, demanding money for repair. However, when they realized the farmer did not have money, they pushed him out of the vehicle and sped away with the truck loaded with 250 crates of tomatoes totalling to 2 tonnes, worth about ₹2.4 lakh, sources said.
Based on a complaint by the farmer, the Chikkajala police have taken up a case of assault and robbery and efforts are on to track down the accused. The police said, “It looks like an incident of road rage, and as the farmer did not have money, they seem to have fled with the truck laden with tomatoes.”
The police said they were analysing CCTV footage from various sources and had some leads on the accused and were in the process of nabbing them.
On July 5, a farmer from Belur taluk of Hassan district complained that tomatoes worth over ₹2.7 lakh were stolen from his field the previous night.