Armed men were seen guarding a vegetable market in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city on Saturday as tomato prices rose. Fearing that the tomatoes may get stolen, vendors hired guards to protect the now precious cartons of tomatoes as they were being unloaded from the trucks.

Recently, incidents of tomato thefts were reported from Indore and other parts of the country. In Mumbai, around 300 kg of tomatoes worth Rs 70,000 were stolen on July 20, ANI reported.

In several cities, the price of tomatoes has touched Rs 100 per kg due to shortage in wholesale supply. “Intense rain spells in tomato growing region is ruining the crop, apart from making the harvested tomatoes pale in colour,” a vegetable vendor from Pune had told The Times of India.

The tomato prices are expected to come down only from mid-August and September because of improved production, ANI reported.