Illegal sand mining seems to have proved a blessing in disguise for some police personnel at Salem Tabri police station. After seizing the illegally mined sand, cops at the station have been allegedly selling off the sand.
After several reports of sale of sand from Salem Tabri police station, a team of Hindustan Times reached the station on Friday and found heaps of sand lying outside the station.
Eventually, an empty tractor-trolley was brought to the police station, following which labourers loaded the vehicle with sand.
This was followed by two cops, including gunman of station house officer (SHO) inspector Kewal Krishan, escorting the tractor-trolley on a motorcycle till Bal Singh Nagar of Basti Jodhewal area to ensure that police party from any other police station did not intercept it. Thereafter, the sand was unloaded outside a factory and the cops returned.
When contacted, officials at the police station said the SHO was on leave and the sand was given to an employee of the police department.
A trolley of sand costs anywhere between Rs 10,000 and Rs 12,000 in Ludhiana.
According to norms, seized sand is case property and should be stored at police stations until the court orders it to be disposed of or auctioned.
HT has earlier reported that the Ludhiana Police have registered more than 250 cases under the Mines and Minerals Act in 2013, and confiscated more that 250 trucks, trolleys and other commercial vehicles loaded with sand mined from banks of Sutlej river by illegal means.
However, none of these police stations has more than four heaps of sand on its premises.
Most of these cases are registered with Ladhowal, Basti Jodhewal, KoomKalan and Meharban police station. When asked, the officers concerned had said the sand was either blown away with the wind or washed away in rain.
Contacted, police commissioner Pramod Ban said he could comment on the matter only after investigating it.