July 27, 2021 12:03:41 pm
At least four FIRs relating to the Illegal Mining Act filed in July at the Raipurrani police station actually date back to May and June.
These FIRs were filed soon after a meeting by Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs, Sardar Sandeep Singh, who had directed the mining officer to take strict action and put a stop to all illegal mining activities in the district on June 28.
The Panchkula Police Monday also arrested two accused of illegal mining in a complaint registered two weeks ago. The arrests came after the suspension of a mining official and the transfer of RTA for inaction in illegal mining cases and overloading of vehicles.
Those arrested were identified as Naresh Kumar, a resident of Mandalay village and Ram Singh, a resident of Maulivala village in Raipurrani.
As per the FIR, it was on May 15 around 6 pm when almost seven mining Inspectors were conducting a special mining survey of Mandalay village. “A JCB and tractor trolly marka were spotted carrying on illegal mining near the north side of the Mandalay bridge. When we attempted to impound the vehicles, few unidentified accused gathered together and forcefully took away the vehicles.”
While the incident is of May 15, the FIR in the case was only filed on July 14 and the arrests were made July 25.
In three other such cases, the FIRs were filed later. In three of the four FIRs filed, either no tractor trolley involved in the incident was at the spot or the accused ran away with the vehicles. In one, while the tractor-trolley involved had been confiscated in March, the insistence for FIR came only in July.
“Time has to be given for vehicles impounded to be taken back by the accused after submission of fines. These FIRs came to us only after the accused refused to submit such fines,” said SI Ramesh Kumar, filling in for Inspector Yashdeep Singh, SHO Raipurrani police station.
However, when asked about how no vehicle was impounded in the case where arrests have been made, the SI said, “We had received the complaints in May itself but had to call for records which includes various documents, for examples whose land is it and its registration et al. That is the reason the complaint was filed late.”
As per ASI Devi Dayal, investigating officer of the case, “There are a lot of procedures involved when it comes to filing an FIR in cases of illegal mining. The law demands that the accused in such cases be sent a notice before filing FIRs against them. So, the then Mining Official, Omdutt Sharma had written to the Police station of Raipurrani area in May and then sent notices, after which FIRs were filed in July.”
Panchkula district mining official, Omdutt Sharma, was suspended on Friday as a follow-up to the June 28 grievance meeting.
Panchkula has been hotbed for illegal mining for long. Cases of illegal mining continue to be reported throughout the district.
“The present cases where FIRs have been filed much later than actual incidences and soon after the minister’s order raise several pertinent questions on both the police as well as the mining officials. Such cases are not identified co-incidences but reveal a vicious cycle of corruption at all levels,” said advocate Vijay Bansal of Pinjore area, who had filed a petition demanding a CBI inquiry in the matter while alleging senior leaders of the then government had remained involved in such activities in 2004.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.