Days after an IPS officer was killed allegedly by the mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh, a man died in Tamil Nadu on Sunday when he tried to stop a lorry carrying illegally quarried sand from a river.
Satish Kumar, 21, a farmer, was crushed by a speeding sand-laden truck in Tirunelveli district, which also houses the Kudankulam nuclear power plant. Kumar was among the 20-odd villagers from Tisyanvilai — 20km from the nuclear plant — who were trying to stop a group of nine people from taking sand away.
The ruckus began around 4am. Kumar protested as the sand was being dug up from near his fields on the banks of river Nambiyaru.
But ignoring his protests, the group filled up the truck and sped off. When Kumar tried to stop the vehicle, they ran him over. He died on the spot.Sea bed sand mining is very lucrative due to the minerals present in the sand. Compared to it, sand mining in river beds to source raw material for construction is insignificant.
But in several villages in and around the nuclear plant, illegal sand mining continues, often with the connivance of the local police and administration officials, locals allege.
Police have arrested Kingston, the driver of the truck, and have launched a manhunt for eight others. “Kingston is the brother of Tenzing, the village panchayat councilor," a police officer said.
Tenzing is alleged to be running the mining operation with the help of local administration. The police have registered a case against him as well.