January 7, 2022 9:26:11 pm
A racket allegedly involved in illegal mining of black trap stone worth over Rs 34.64 crore was unearthed in Sayla taluka of Surendranagar, police said Friday. As many as 17 persons were arrested and several others were booked in connection with the incident.
Black trap stone refers to dark coloured igneous rocks used in making crushed stones in the construction industry.
According to police, a joint raid was conducted in Sudamda village of Sayla taluka by teams of police and geology and mining department on January 1 in which large scale illegal mining of black trap stone was allegedly being conducted by the mining mafia.
The survey of the extent to which black trap stone has been stolen was completed by January 5.
“In the raid, we found five excavator machines and 13 dumper trucks used for illegal mining of black trap stone and then its theft. The accused found at the spot could not produce any licence, royalty or lease given to conduct the mining. In the survey conducted by officials of geology and mining department, we found 8,67,556.93 metric tonne black trap stones worth Rs 34.64 crore being stolen,” said Mahendra Bagadiya, Superintendent of Police, Surendranagar.
According to police, the main accused of illegal mine mafia has been identified as Pradip Khachar, a native of Sudamda village in Sayla taluka, who has earlier been booked in three criminal cases at Sayla police station including attempt to murder charges.
Police also arrested 16 drivers of the excavator machines and dumper vehicles present at the spot, engaged in the illegal mining.
“We have found over 36 persons-drivers and owners of the excavator machines and dumper vehicles and owners of the land plots on which illegal mining was being carried out- and they have been booked along with Khachar under sections of Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act and The Gujarat Mineral (Prevention of Illegal Mining and Transportation and Storage) Act,” said a senior police officer in Sayla.
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