Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, Charanjit Singh Channi, on Monday accused Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia and their associates of “patronising” drug and sand mafias in the state and demanded their immediate arrest.
Submitting two complaints to Director General of Police Suresh Arora in this regard, he alleged that the name of Majithia had surfaced in the drug scam long time back.
The state has been converted into a drug haven with the mafias having a free run under their patronage. Sukhbir is also the state Home Minister and thus he is “directly responsible” for the situation, Channi alleged.
“Sand, gravel and other minor minerals are being illegally extracted without any consideration for the environment. The people in power are carrying out this exercise with assistance of police and officials of the mining department,” Channi alleged.
“It is due to their vested interests that auction of mines had not taken place. The total loss to the state exchequer is around Rs 25,000 crore. Corrupt police and other officials were part of this sand mafia,” he alleged.
The transporters who load sand from these illegal mines have to pay the mafia. This royalty is commonly referred to as ‘Gunda Parchi’, Channi alleged, adding the irony is that the poor farmers are penalised for lifting sand from his own field while the sand mafias have monopolised this business.