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Moga police crack down on sand mafia, 13 held (Dec.)

 

Tribune, Delhi, Tuesday 3rd December 2013

At least 13 persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in illegal mining from the Sutlej basin in the district during the past 24 hours. The police have seized 14 trucks laden with sand from their possession. One of the accused has absconded.

A senior police officer told The Tribune that the trucks were coming from Shahkot side after crossing the Kanwan Wala Pattan bridge on the Jalandhar-Moga highway when a police team intercepted them. Those driving the vehicles were arrested. They were identified as Gursewak Singh, Kala Singh, Harjinder Singh, Balwinder Singh, Surjit Singh, Amrik Singh, Jagtar Singh, Thana Singh, Sanjog Singh, Amandeep Singh, Manpreet Singh, Buta Singh and Karamveer Singh.

Another driver who fled the spot has been identified as Balwant Singh of Bhaura village in Mansa district.

An FIR under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC and various sections of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957, has been registered at the Dharamkot police station.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the accused, all members of the sand mafia, had been engaged in illegal mining for the past several months. They had been selling sand in Moga, Barnala, Sangrur, Bathinda, Mansa and other districts.

The Moga police have registered close to 100 cases of illegal mining this year so far.

It may be mentioned that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had banned sand mining in the state in tandem with the Supreme Court's order of February 27, 2012. Mining is allowed only from approved sites after sanction for the same is obtained from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.