Illegal mining spotted by Amarinder: Questions over police probe in Nawanshahr
A month after Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh ordered a crackdown on illegal mining, spotting heavy machinery being used on the Sutlej riverbed in Phillaur and Rahon on March 6, three of six official contractors booked in the case have not joined investigation. The police are evasive on the progress made, saying that it has sought details from revenue and mining departments on mining outside approved quarries.
“As the area of mining is huge, it will take time for the revenue and the mining departments to measure and compile a report identifying spots where illegal mining was on. This report, which we will get soon, will play a major role in the investigation,” said SSP Satinder Singh.
In the tweet, the CM had posted pictures of JCB machines along the river. As part of action, the police had booked six contractors. Machinery had been seized and 20 people arrested.
Randeep Singh of Bairsaal quarry; Poonam Aggarwal from Calcutta of Lallewal quarry and Sunil Kumar of Mandala quarry have joined investigation after getting anticipatory bails. Jagvir Inder Singh of Burj Tehal Das quarry; Kudratdeep Singh of Malikpur quarry and Mohali-based Pinjore Royalty company of Khosa quarry are yet to join investigation. Police sources said they are yet to get anticipatory bails. When quizzed on contractors’ statements, Nawanshahr DSP Mukhtiar Rai, who is heading investigation into the case, said, “Contractors have said they were doing mining at approved quarries. I cannot disclose more details as the case is in court.”
Industries department general manager (GM) Amarjit Singh refuted the police claim that the department had been asked to prepare a report on mining outside the quarries. “Mining has been halted at all quarries. We will allot the quarries again after demarcation,” he added.