Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police Kuldeep Singh Chahal tells Jagdeep Singh Deep the problems the police face while dealing with illegal mining in the district
Residents of some villages in Majri block allege police inaction against the people involved in illegal mining. Is it true?
See, we can register a case and arrest the person indulging in illegal activities. Whenever we receive any complaint, we register a case. In some cases, people come forward to lodge complaints but mostly, people do not want to come forward. The illegal miners take undue advantage of this thing. The residents must unite and come to the police to lodge complaints against such people. The mining department should also work proactively in the area.
How many cases have been registered against the illegal miners?
As per my knowledge, we have registered around 80 cases against the illegal miners in the last six months.
Have you made any special plan to take on the illegal miners?
There is no special plan as such but we need the support of villagers to curb the menace. I appeal to the residents of affected villages to lodge complaints without any fear. If my officers are not listening to them, then they can come to me any time. I will take action against my officers as well.
The people are forced to guard their villages where the miners have dug up deep pits. They then accuse the police of conniving with these people. Have you received any such report?
See, I cannot rule out any possibility. I had said earlier that if the villagers found any policeman hand in glove with the illegal miners, they are free to come to me. I will take appropriate action. If the villagers are guarding their villages, we should appreciate their courage. But I would want them to contact the police as well and take up the matter with the area DSPs immediately. If they do not listen to them then I will see.
The villagers are demanding a round-the-clock helpline for lodging complaints against illegal mining.
Yes, that could be a good idea. But only the district administration has the powers to start it; the police department cannot launch it on its own. But we will respond positively to any such experiment.