The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has demanded that a court-monitored CBI inquiry should be held into the rampant illegal sand mining in the state along with the attack on its Ropar MLA, Amarjit Sandoa. The opposition party has also demanded a White Paper by the state government on its efforts to check illegal mining.
Addressing a press conference here Thursday, senior AAP leaders, including state co-president Dr Balbir Singh, Leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira flanked by party MLAs said that they will hold a dharna at alleged illegal sand mining sites across the state to get the sand pits “liberated”.
Accusing the Congress government in the state for failing to protect opposition MLAs, Khaira said they will try to meet Punjab Governor on Friday over the issue and if need be they will “confront the CM face to face”.
Terming the assault on the Ropar MLA as an attack on democracy, Dr Balbir said that this was the second attack by sand mafia in the state in the period of last three days. “Even as the forest official who was attacked in Seonl village is fighting for his life, the MLA has been attacked. This daylight attack on the MLA shows how daring the sand mafia has become,” he said.
He alleged that the state government has provided police security to sand mafia and that those who attacked Amarjit Sandoa today also had policemen with them armed with AK-47 weapons.
Khaira said if an MLA who has been provided security by the government can be attacked in broad daylight, one can imagine the plight of ordinary people or even officials who are facing the wrath of this mafia across the state. “Illegal mining in the state is taking place with active and tacit support of Congress leaders because of which Capt Amarinder Singh took no action on the six illegal mining ‘khuds’ (pits) of Nawanshahar tweeted by him from his helicopter. Capt Amarinder Singh pushed the matter under the carpet because all the said six ‘khuds’ were connected to the Congress leaders,” he said.
AAP leaders said that they would be visiting the sand mines in Pathankot and Ballarhwal in Ajnala in Amritsar district as there were reports of rampant illegal sand mining there. AAP MLAs Jai Kishen Rodi, Charanjit Kaur Manuke, Harpal Cheema, Kanwar Sandhu and Kultar Singh Sandhwan were also present during the press conference.