Illegal sand mining is rampant in the region and is often linked to powerful syndicates.(HT Photo/Representative)
Illegal sand mining is rampant in the region and is often linked to powerful syndicates.(HT Photo/Representative)

Senior Rajasthan government officer attacked by sand mafia during raid, injured

  • The Supreme Court had said last year in February that illegal sand mining could cause irreparable damage to the environment and is rampant in Rajasthan.
By HT Correspondent | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Jaipur
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 11:24 AM IST

A senior Rajasthan government officer from Sawai Madhopur district was attacked and injured along with some policemen during an operation against river sand mining mafia on Thursday.

The incident took place during a joint operation against river-sand mafia, carried out by the police and the revenue departments, under the leadership of Bonli sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Badrinarayan Meena in Dholri village on Thursday morning, during which 15 tractors-trolley were seized.

The illegal mining was taking place at Morale canal near the village at around 5.30 am on Thursday morning when Meena, along with the police, chased the gravel trolleys, on the way from Peepalda to Dhorala village.

“When the accused realised they were being raided, they started driving fast, resulting in overturning of a few vehicles. The accused also blocked the way of the raiding party by dumping the illegally-mined river sand in the middle of the road. Later, the SDM was stopped by the mafia and beaten up,” said a police official, who didn’t wish to be named.

“The SDM has suffered injuries on his shoulder and an arm in the attack. The accused escaped with four-five tractor trolleys. However, the remaining vehicles were captured by the SDM-led team. After some time, Bonli police and tehsildar Brijesh Meena also reached the spot.”

SDM Meena said had suffered injuries on his right shoulder and hand during the attack. “We have also made a video of the incident, which will help in identifying the accused,” he said.

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According to the official data tabled in the assembly, 3,076 FIRs and 33,317 complaints have been registered for violations of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act between April 1, 2018 and July 31, 2020. In this period, the state government slapped 216.19 crore as fine on the violators of the act.

In February last year, the Supreme Court had said that illegal sand mining, which could cause irreparable damage to the environment, is rampant in Rajasthan and should not be allowed to continue. The apex court had also ordered a Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to look into the issue and suggest preventive measures.

The bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde, had also directed state authorities to take steps to stop illegal mining.

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