Crackdown against sand mafia: Raids at 70 places

In the wake of Malegaon additional district collector Yeshwant Sonawane being burnt alive by oil mafia on January 25.

Written by Express News Service | Pune | Published:January 30, 2011 3:23 am

In the wake of Malegaon additional district collector Yeshwant Sonawane being burnt alive by oil mafia on January 25,a joint team of government officers under the Pune district collectorate and armed police personnel has launched a crackdown against sand mafia. The team seized 44 trucks involved in illegal lifting and transportation of sand in the last three days.

The teams also conducted raids at 70 spots in city and rural parts to check illegal stocking and adulteration of kerosene,petrol,LPG cylinders,lubricant oil and other items.

R K Gaikwad,additional district collector,Pune,said they had deployed teams at five toll posts in the district. “We collected Rs 3.78 lakh fine from 44 trucks for illegal lifting and transportation of sand in the last three days. Eleven offences of illegal sand transportation and lifting were registered at Indapur and three at Daund. Our teams also seized five cranes in Bhima river at Daund and six boats in Nira river at Baramati that were lifting sand illegally. Police have arrested 35 people in these cases,” said Gaikwad.

Meanwhile,the food and civil supplies department teams conducted raids at 45 places in the city on Saturday and seized 35 LPG cylinders,400 litres kerosene,2,200 litres lubricant oil and six cans of grease,all worth Rs 3.5 lakh.

The raids were held at hotels,shops and godowns in Raviwar Peth,Rasta Peth,Budhwar Peth,Bibvewadi,Vishrantwadi,Pimpri-Chinchwad and other parts. A raid was conducted at Kishor Foods in Vishrantwadi,where diesel and kerosene was mixed. About 2,200 litres of lubricant oil was found at a complex in Bibvewadi. Samples of fuel was collected from 10 petrol pumps. Samples of the seized items have been sent for lab test. If the reports show adulteration,we may lodge police complaints,” said Pradeep Patil,food distribution officer.

Patil said 34 raids were conducted in Pune rural. “Our teams seized 160 litres of kerosene at Shikrapur. A jeep carrying 23 litres of petrol was seized at Indapur. We have lodged four police complaints,one at Shirur and three at Indapur. Eight persons have been arrested so far,” he said. Meanwhile,Gaikwad said that 35 persons including five from Shevalwadi near Loni Kalbhor were arrested for their alleged involvement in petrol theft and adulteration.

A meeting was held between top police and government officers on Friday. “A decision was taken that government officers would carry out raids only if they are accompanied with five armed police constables and a sub inspector,” said Gaikwad.

Gaikwad said raids would continue for few more days,but it was not possible to carry out similar action on a regular basis due to shortage of staff.

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