Fourteen SHOs and four DSPs are in the firing line of the police higher authorities, for their alleged involvement in illegal stone quarrying/sand mining and transportation that has robbed Bihar of huge sums of money in revenue.
A crackdown on the quarrying/mining mafia in Rohtas, Kaimur, Aurangabad and Gaya districts of Bihar, has led to confiscation of over 780 trucks carrying illegally mined stone chips and sand, and recovery of Rs 2.5 crore as fine, in the last seven days.
The racket has been running with the alleged connivance of police and officials in the mining, forests, transport and commercial taxes departments, sources here said.
The crackdown on officials, who allegedly helped the stone and sand mining mafia evade laws and taxes, was launched at the directive of Patna zone inspector general (IG) of police Nayyar Husnain Khan.
The deputy superintendents of police (DSPs), who are under scanner for their alleged role in the racket are Niraj Kumar Singh (Bikramganj), Manoj Ram (Mohania), Umesh Prasad (Sherghati) and PN Sahu (Aurangabad Sadar).
After investigations established the alleged complicity of the four DSPs, the IG served show cause notices on them and ordered the initiation of departmental proceedings against the officers.
The IG also directed the DIGs of Magadh and Shahabad ranges to immediately transfer the DSPs from police stations on GT Road, through which illegally mined items were being transported, to other places.
Police said 620 trucks carrying sand, coal and stone chips without permits were seized on GT Road and national highways, while 161 others were impounded from loop lanes of Bhojpur, Buxar, Jehanabad and Nawada districts, during the crackdown.
Altogether 29 FIRs had been lodged against 64 persons allegedly associated with the mining mafia. They had been arrested and sent to judicial custody, the police added.
Meanwhile, two special investigation teams (SITs) have been constituted under Gaya SSP and Rohtas SP to arrest the remaining accused persons, who have been identified.
Khan said he would submit a detailed report on the racket to the state police headquarters and the home department. He said besides depleting the state exchequer considerably, the illegal transportation of these heavy items was also causing huge damage to roads.
“The drive against illegal transportation, commercial tax evasion and overloading will continue,” the IG added.
Police said there was an “entry mafia” active in the state, which facilitated smooth movement of trucks laden with coal, concrete, sand, iron and other goods on the GT Road after realising a fixed amount at check posts.
Once the payment was made, there was no restriction on such illegal transportation, sources said.
Dobhi in Gaya and Mohania in Rohtas were the main entry points of such trucks from Jharkhand and UP, respectively. The Bihar government has assigned teams of commercial taxes department, transport department and police to check illegal movement but without success. This indicated the facilitating role of government employees/men in khaki, in facilitating the illegal passage.