Nuh cops book nine suspects for illegal mining in Tauru

Published on Sep 18, 2022 11:36 PM IST

Nuh police on Sunday booked six people for their alleged involvement in illegal mining activities in Kharak Jalalpur village, Tauru

The suspects in police custody on Sunday. (Parveen Kumar/ HT)
The suspects in police custody on Sunday. (Parveen Kumar/ HT)

Nuh police on Sunday booked six people for their alleged involvement in illegal mining activities in Kharak Jalalpur village, Tauru.

According to Rakesh Kumar, guard, mining department, officers received a tip-off about people conducting illegal mining in the area. “We visited the spot around 8am on Sunday in a joint raid with the police. We saw some people extracting stones and a tractor parked nearby. These illegal miners have an informer network of villagers who graze cattle in the hillocks. Hence, we took a separate route but the suspects fled the spot on spotting us, leaving the tractor behind,” he said. Rakesh further said they received several complaints over the last few days and were keeping a close watch on illegal mining activities.

Arvind Kumar, station house officer, Tauru police station, said that at least nine people from the village are involved in the case, aided by a driver of an earth-moving machine. “We have identified the suspects and are conducting raids to arrest them,” he said. Freshly cut stones from the hills, along with track marks of vehicles were discovered at the spot. “We have intercepted fresh movement in the Aravallis which clearly shows that people are still illegally mining in the area,” Kumar added.

SHO Kumar further informed that cops received information from sources that villages close to mining areas are still witnessing the quarrying of stones despite a ban imposed by the Supreme Court. “During the inspection, we found some freshly mined stones and tire tracks of vehicles. We questioned locals and found out that nine people were involved in illegal mining,” he said. A case has been registered against the perpetrators under sections 379 (theft), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), and 120B of the Indian Penal Code, and section 21 (4) of the Minerals Act at Tauru police station on Sunday. The tractor found at the illegal mining site has been confiscated.

Police said first-time offenders get their vehicles back upon paying a fine of 4 lakh, while second-time offenders have to pay at least 50% of the showroom value of the vehicle impounded, according to a 2019 National Green Tribunal (NGT) order. “The owner of the impounded vehicle has to pay a royalty — the value of the minerals loaded on the vehicles (either crushed stones or clay-sand) — along with 10,000, for releasing the impounded vehicles,” a senior police officer said. The state has been suffering severe revenue losses because of illegal mining activity in the Aravallis for the last several years, he added.

Surender Singh, deputy superintendent of police (DSP), was allegedly run over and killed by a dump truck on July 19 this year while he was following up on a tip-off involving illegal mining. According to police, illegal mining operations have been taking place in the Aravallis for over two decades. In November 2019, IPS officer Amitabh Singh Dhillon, who is also the director-general of the mines and geology department of Haryana, put together a special enforcement team to crack down on illegal mining operations.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Leena Dhankhar has worked with Hindustan Times for five years. She has covered crime, traffic and excise. She now reports on civic issues and grievances of residents.

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