The rumour about a salt crisis and thereby a price hike of the product originated in Sylhet on Monday. The news was lightning fast to spread from urban to rural areas of the division.
Based on the fake news, opportunist traders instantly raised the prices of the daily commodity.
On Monday night, people gathered at different retail and wholesale shops to buy salt in advance. An unscrupulous section of local grocers lifted up the salt price from Tk35 per kg to as high as Tk100.
After being informed, the Sylhet district administration fielded a mobile court led by Assistant Commissioner (Land) Sumanto Banerjee and Executive Magistrate Md Mezbah Uddin on Monday night.
The team conducted drives in the area and sentenced the seller of a local shop – Shimul Traders – to a 15-day jail-term, or in default Tk45,000 fine, on the charge of selling salt at an increased price.
In the drive, the mobile court recovered 1 tonne of salt which was left abandoned in two vans.
Md Zedan Al Musa, the additional deputy commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Police, urged all not to pay heed to any rumour regarding the salt crisis.
He also said legal actions will be taken against those who will spread rumours further.