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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Illegal mining at Surtapur: man caught, five escape

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, May 12, 2013
First Published: 00:33 IST(12/5/2013) | Last Updated: 00:46 IST(12/5/2013)

Acting against illegal sand mining on the banks of the Sutlej in Surtapur, the Rupnagar police on Friday arrested a man named Ajmer Singh.

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Five other people, including one Pawandeep Singh, are on the run in this case. Ajmer, who is from Mohali, was arrested near Chamkaur Sahib, and on Saturday, a court in Rupnagar remanded him in police custody for a day.

Pawandeep Singh, who is also from Mohali, owns the four tipper trucks seized in the area for loading sand, the police have said. The other four being hunted drove these tippers.

On Thursday, the HT had highlighted illegal mining at Surtapur. In the wee hours every day, the trucks carried away best-quality sand from the Sutlej banks through the unguarded Morinda-Chamkaur Sahib road. On Friday, the Punjab and Haryana high court had taken note of the media reports while hearing a complaint about illegal mining in the state.
The first-information report (FIR) is lodged at Chamkaur Sahib under Sections 379 and 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which are about theft and disobeying the order of a public servant, respectively; and Section 21 (1) of the Mining and Minerals Act, which is about extracting sand illegally.

Rupnagar SSP on SIT

Rupnagar senior superintendent of police Mohanbir Singh is on the three-member special investigation (SIT) team formed to investigate illegal-mining cases registered in the state. Inspector general of police (Bathinda zone) Nirmal Singh Dhillon leads the team that also has Vishav Bandhu, a senior official in the mining wing of the industries department, on it.

Agampur case: probe ordered

Rupnagar deputy commissioner Pardeep Agarwal had ordered an investigation into illegal mining and the functioning of the stone crushers at Agampur near Anandpur Sahib, as reported in the HT on Thursday. Unabated mining for gravel along the banks of a tributary of the Sutlej in Agampur had brought more than 200 acres of farmland under the threat of flash floods and soil erosion. The site was never auctioned for mining.

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