Three arrested for illegal mining at BKU leader’s farm in Bathinda

Published on Sep 10, 2022 05:11 AM IST

Three persons were arrested by Bathinda police after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA from Maur Sukhveer Singh Maisarkhana complained about illegal mining being carried out at Chadat Singh Wala village late on Thursday

Members of BKU- Ugrahan protest against police administration in Bathinda on Friday (Sanjeev Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Members of BKU- Ugrahan protest against police administration in Bathinda on Friday (Sanjeev Kumar/Hindustan Times)
By, Bathinda

Three persons were arrested by Bathinda police after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA from Maur Sukhveer Singh Maisarkhana complained about illegal mining being carried out at Chadat Singh Wala village late on Thursday.

Sukhjeet Singh, Gurmail Singh and Jeeta Singh have been booked under sections 379 (theft) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Mines Act.

Meanwhile, Maisarkhana and activists of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) locked horns on Friday over the former’s charges of illegal mining.

The MLA had alerted the local police that a few people were removing natural resources from the semi-arid belt in an alleged violation of state mining rules.

The said field belongs to Harjinder Singh Baggi, general secretary of the district unit of the BKU’s Ugrahan faction.

The first information report (FIR) registered at Maur, however, did not mention Baggi’s name.

BKU activists staged a dharna near the spot and raised slogans against the Maur MLA and the district authorities.

Union’s senior state vice-president Jhanda Singh Jehuke said there was no illegality as the earth was being removed from sand dunes to make it fit for cultivation.

“It is normal for farmers of south-west Punjab districts to level their fields in sand dunes. We have been doing it for decades as farmers want farmland fit for other crops,” he added.

Bathinda senior superintendent of police (SSP) J Elanchezhian said the investigation was underway and farmer activists have been invited on Saturday to table their objections in the case.

“”Besides the depth of excavation, work of removing natural resources at odd hours also needs to be explained by the landowner,” he added.

“A farmer needs to take prior permission from the mining authorities if he needs to remove earth and take it elsewhere,” the cop further said.

The Bathinda SSP also placed the SHO of Kotfatta under suspension for his failure to reach the mining spot.

“When a complaint was received about the mining last night, it was presumed that the crime spot, a field in Maur Chadat Singh Wala, falls under Kotfatta. SHO Bhupinderjeet Singh did not reach the spot for unspecified reasons and disciplinary action was taken. Later in the day, it was found that the mining spot was under the jurisdiction of Maur police station,” the SSP said.

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