Irked by the non-compliance of the magistrate’s order by the police, the Bombay high court on Wednesday directed the director general of police (DGP) to take action against police officers who have abetted the sand mafia in Solapur.
A division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice Rajesh Ketkar directed the DGP to act against police officers who have indirectly allowed illegal sand mining to flourish in Solapur by failing to take action on a complaint lodged by the tehsildar of Solapur.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Shankarrao Sathe, a villager from Solapur, seeking that the police should be directed to take action against the culprits. The PIL also sought departmental action to be initiated against police officers who failed to act against those who indulged in illegal sand excavation.
Public prosecutor Pandurang Pol informed the court that they have set the process in motion and would soon take action against errant police officers.
On July 20, 2009, Sathe and other villagers from Bhoire village in Solapur, caught nine trucks illegally excavating sand from the banks of river Sina. The villagers prevented the truck drivers from fleeing and informed the tehsildar and the police. But the police did not arrest the truck drivers, who then fled. Jagdish Patil, tehsildar of Solapur, filed an affidavit supporting the petitioner. On a court direction, an affidavit was filed by Tushar Doshi, superintendent of police, Solapur (rural), stating: “I’d see if any police officer is found responsible for non-registration of crime. They’d be dealt with by initiating appropriate department action against them.”