Mafia henchmen assault Patiala mining officer, ‘try to run him over’; FIR after high drama

Officer says he escaped after firing in self-defence, but was thrashed; alleges cops at Shambu police station detained, manhandled him with SHO pressing him to strike a compromise

punjab Updated: Nov 20, 2017 09:26 IST
Vishal Rambani
Vishal Rambani
Hindustan Times, Ghanaur (Patiala)
Mafia henchmen,sand mining mafia,punjab sand mining
(HT File/Representative image )

Ghanaur (Patiala) A general manager with the Mohali and Patiala mining department, Tehal Singh Sekhon, has accused the district police of manhandling him and shielding the mining mafia. He claimed that the police did not even act after henchmen of the mining mafia thrashed him in full public view and tried to crush him under their tipper at Rajgarh village in chief minister’s home district on Sunday.

“Following complaints of illegal mining from Ghaggar river in Rajgarh village, I conducted a surprise check on my official vehicle on Sunday. I intercepted a tipper involved in the illegal mining. Instead of stopping, the men tried to run the tipper over me. I fired in self-defence. They overpowered me and called their boss, who claimed that he was associated with the local MLA and thrashed me,” Sekhon claimed.

Over the past two months, there have been reports of rampant illegal mining from the Ghaggar river in Ghanaur and Rajpura constituency, both represented by Congress MLAs.

Sekhon approached the Shambu police station to lodge a complaint. “At the police station, the first question SHO Kulwinder Singh asked me was, that why was I working on a Sunday,” he claimed, adding that he was manhandled at the police station as well, and pressured to reach a compromise with the henchmen.

“I am GM (mining) of Mohali and Patiala, and can check illegal mining anywhere, anytime? Is it a crime to defend the state’s property from mafia,” Sekhon said, adding that the police also manhandled his family members who reached the police station.

“The police told me to admit that I fired on the tipper and strike a compromise,” he claimed. He told HT that he had submitted a complaint against Kulwinder Kumar, Bunty and two others for thrashing him, claiming to be the MLA’s men.

“I have informed deputy commissioner Kumar Amit and my superiors in the mining department,” he added.

Officer detained at police station

Sekhon claimed that at the police station, the officers detained him and did not een allow his family friend, Rajat Gautam to meet him. Gautam is the president of the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council and had reached the Shambhu police station with a few lawyers to meet Singh.

“Without political protection, no one can have the courage to brutally attack an officer in full public view,” Gautam said. “The GM (mining) did not inform the district administration that he was to carry out a raid in the area. After he called, I have asked the police to take action as per law. A tehsildar has also been sent to the police station,” said DC Kumar Amit.

Ordered registration of FIR: SSP

When contacted, SSP Dr S Bhupati said, “I have ordered the registration of a first-information report (FIR) on the statement of GM Tehal Singh Sekhon. Action will be taken against all accused.” A case has been registered under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty) and 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) of the IPC at the Shambhu police station.

First Published: Nov 20, 2017 09:25 IST