A day after the arrests of 16 people allegedly involved in illegal sand mining in Mullanpur area, Punjab, residents of the villages where the illegal practice was taking place, on Friday claimed they were being “threatened” by “outsiders” who were working for the mining mafia.
Residents of Abhipur village, who exposed the illegal sand mining going on for the past many years, had even installed the CCTV cameras to record the movement of tipper trucks, which were allegedly involved.
Bhag Singh, an ex-serviceman who stood up against the mining mafia, said: “We have been raising the issue for long, we welcome this action but a lot needs to be done in our area as the illegal sand mining is rampant,” he said.
Bhag Singh further said that when the villagers had started stopping tipper trucks by holding protests, some “outsiders” had started coming to their village and were intimidating the villagers.
“They would roam on the ring road, they were not locals, we are sure that they also possessed weapons, the villagers were living in fear,” Bhag Singh alleged.
Ram Singh, another resident of the village, said illegal sand mining was rampant in Abhipur, Mianpur Changar and Kubaheri villages and villagers who were trying their level best to stop the mining mafia were facing stiff resistance. “Powerful people are involved in this,” Singh said.
“Arrest of 16 people is good but the administration must expose the real faces behind the illegal business which is worth several crores,” he added.
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