A FOREST guard was beaten to death allegedly by a group of locals involved in alleged illegal mining in Machhi Forest Range in Raipur police station area of Sonbhadra district Friday. Another guard, Ram Pukar (50) suffered injuries. Police identified the deceased as Mohan Ram Maurya, 52.
The incident occurred after forest department personnel seized a tractor-trolley carrying stones allegedly procured from illegal mining.
An FIR was registered against 12 persons, 10 of whom are unidentified, on several charges including murder. One of the prime accused, Laxmi Yadav, was arrested Saturday, informed Superintendent of Police, Sonbhadra, Salmantaj Jafertaj Patil.
He added that Maurya had head injuries caused by a blunt object and the post-mortem report was waited to ascertain the cause of death.
Divisional Forest Officer, Sonbhadra, Sanjeev Kumar Singh, said around 9 pm Friday, the department got a tip-off that a few persons involved in illegal mining were loading stones in a tractor-trolley at Papri village under Machhi Forest range. A team headed by Ranger BV Singh went to the spot and nabbed one person. They also seized the tractor-trolley loaded with stones, he added. He added, “The team was bringing the seized tractor-trolley to the Range office. The arrested person was driving the vehicle while forest guards Mohan Ram and Ram Pukar were sitting with him. Four other forest officials were moving in a Bolero.”
The two injured were taken to a hospital where Mohan Ram was declared dead on arrival.