The local police have charged 12 people with illegal mining in Shehna block of Barnala district.
"Acting on a complaint from the canal and irrigation department, we caught some people extracting sand from the bed of the Bakhra Main Line (BML) Canal near Shehna," deputy superintendent of police Harvinder Singh said here on Sunday.
The BML is closed till April 23 for the installation of surveillance cameras at the base at Khanauri in Sangrur district. A patrolling squad deployed on the spot prevented the mining of sand.
The miners had attacked the canal department officials when they had last tried to stop them. A case was registered against the miners.