Pirated NCERT books racket busted in Meerut

The Meerut police and a Special Task Force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh last week busted a pan-India racket of pirated NCERT books in Meerut. As the police recovered around nine lakh pirated books with NCERT logo from a godown in the Partapur area of Meerut on 22 August, a chance discovery of a handwritten note has led the police to believe that these piracy activities have all-India ties as the note mentioned names of the vendors who would complete the last mile and also addresses of the shops that would stock up the pirated copies — one in Asansol in West Bengal, another in Madurai in Tamil Nadu and Munger, a third in Delhi and a fourth in Chennai.

26 Aug 2020 | By PrintWeek Team

If the authorities manage to get hold of the entire ‘syndicate’, this maybe the biggest book piracy racket busted in India.

The books published by National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT) are much in demand after the organisation issued a notification to schools under its jurisdiction to allow only textbooks published by NCERT in the schools.

The organisation prints its own books or outsources the print jobs among designated printers who are registered with the organisation.

According to the Meerut police, there are only four printing press in UP that have been authorised by the NCERT to publish books.

The Indian Express quoted Ajay Sahni, senior superintendent of police (Meerut) as saying, “There is no authorised printing press for publishing NCERT books in Meerut, but this illegal business of publishing and sale of books on this scale was continuing for over five years.”

The UP Special Task Force and the Meerut police raided warehouses and printing press units in Meerut and Amroha and arrested four persons, including the supervisor of the warehouse in Meerut. However, according to the police, the mastermind of the operation is absconding.

The police recovered 8,90,439 copies of pirated books from the godown situated on the road between Achhrod and Kashi in Partapura area of Meerut. The market value of the books is up to Rs 35-crore. It also recovered nine computers, bill books, letter pads and visiting cards.

In another raid, a similar stock of pirated books was seized from Amroha with a market value of Rs 15-crore. Eight persons have been arrested so far.

The police suspects that pirated booked from the busted warehouses may have been transported to almost all cities in India. Accordingly to the police, the handwritten note it recovered is a part of a handwritten register which had 926 entries containing the names, addresses, and details of the vendors.

(Courtesy: Agencies)

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