New Delhi: As the prices of onions skyrocketed in the last few days, the employees of Bihar’s state cooperative company armed themselves with helmets, presenting an unusual spectacle as bike riders without helmet vrooming in Patna is not a rare sight.

People stood in long queues from as early as 4 am outside the mobile outlets of the State Cooperative Marketing Union Limited as they were selling onions at Rs 35 per kilogram. The staff expected heavy rush, stampede and hence took precautionary measures.

“We are wearing helmets because we are concerned about our security. Yesterday, people started throwing stones in Arrah and many were injured. The administration has not arranged for security,” Rohit Kumar, an employee told news agency ANI, while addressing people to not break the queue.

Onions have made to some of the most hilarious headlines over the past few weeks as thieves stole onions worth Rs 50,000 from a Bengal factory, leaving the cash box unattended. Bihar MLAs protested outside the Assembly building wearing a garland of onions.

The Centre had banned the export of the key kitchen staple and imposed a stock limit on traders to improve the domestic availability of the commodity and provide relief to consumers. Still, the situation went out of the hand as wholesale prices rose to Rs 100 a kg.
Traders expect onion prices to remain strong till mid-December, after which a gradual decline is possible. Excessive post-monsoon rains damaged onion crop and nurseries in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

(With Agency Inputs)