PanchkulaPolice on Sunday registered a case of illegal sand mining and assault on guards against unidentified people at Belwali village in Panchkula’s Chandimandir.Two mining department guards – Shiv Charan and Jai Chand, who were patrolling Asrewali and Belwali villages — found members of sand mafia carrying out mining with an earth-moving machine and a tipper truck on the riverbed at Berwali village around 2.30am, said police.“As we were entering the riverbed, the drivers saw us and managed to flee. We followed them to the other end where they were apprehended, but they again managed to flee leaving the vehicles behind,” the guards said in the complaint. They alleged later half a dozen men reached the spot and following a scuffle managed to take away the JCB machine and tipper truck forcibly.Chandimandir station house officer (SHO) inspector Naveen Kumar said: “A police team visited the spot to probe the matter. We are trying to trace the vehicle using the registration number noted down by the guards. The accused will be held soon.”Police have registered a case under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 379 (theft), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) besides under relevant sections of the Mines and Minerals Act.Sand mafia is active in the district, especially in the peripheral areas. Fifteen people were booked in four cases of illegal sand mining registered at Raipur Rani and Pinjore last month. A team of the mining department had also highlighted several instances of illegal sand mining in the district after a survey.