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Friday, February 26, 2021

Crackdown against ‘sand mafia’: Pune rural police destroy 14 boats, extern two gang leaders

Over the last several months, the Pune District Administration, Police, Forest Department and other agencies have launched a coordinated crackdown against these gangs.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
February 23, 2021 12:14:54 pm
Pune city news, Pune sand mafia, Pune rural police, Pune police crackdown on sand mafia, Pune news, Indian expressPune rural police have seized and destroyed 14 boats used for illegal sand mining.

Continuing their crackdown against the notorious sand mafia operating in the Bhima river basin, the Pune rural police have seized and destroyed 14 boats used for illegal sand mining and have externed two alleged sand mafia gang leaders over the last two weeks.

Daund, Shirur and Indapur talukas of Pune district have numerous illegal sand mining rackets in operation, especially in the Bhima basin riverbeds, according to police. These riverbeds are known to have good quality sand, a commodity which is always in very high demand mainly in construction — both in non-government construction projects and government-initiated infrastructure projects. Over the last several months, the Pune District Administration, Police, Forest Department and other agencies have launched a coordinated crackdown against these gangs. In October and November last year, these agencies had together seized and destroyed over 80 boats used for excavation and had made several arrests.

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In the latest series of actions over the last two weeks, police have conducted three raids and have seized and destroyed a total of 14 boats worth Rs 1.3 crores, booked 14 persons and also seized one truck used for transport of excavated sand. On Monday, Pune Rural jurisdiction’s Superintendent of Police Abhinav Deshmukh issued externment orders against two alleged sand mafia operators Vishnu Balbhim Amnar alias Lala and Nitin Lavangare.

The Maharashtra Police Act empowers the police officer of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) or Superintendent of Police (SP) rank to extern or banish a criminal from specific jurisdiction if there is a reasonable belief that the said person can pose danger to law and order based on past record. The externment orders are subject to judicial scrutiny. The said history-sheeter can be booked if found to be in the area for which the externment order has been issued.

Both Amnar and Lavangare have been externed from Daund, Shirur, Indapur and Baramati talukas of Pune and in addition from two bordering taluka of Solapur and Ahmednagar districts where they were alleged to have been operating.

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