MP govt cracks whip on cops over illegal sand mining

Bhopal, Aug 29 (IANS) A video showing a police official negotiating with the mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh has surfaced, revealing that the illegal activity is being done with the complicity of the police.

As soon as the matter came to light, the Director General of Police V.P. Singh shifted Sub-divisional Officer (SDO-P), S.N. Pathak from Patan to the Police Headquarters on Tuesday.

Inspector General of Police of Chambal, D.P. Gupta, ordered the Superintendent of Police of Bhind to intensify checking of illegal mining and transportation.

The order said, "Illegal mining and its transportation is being done in the district but the police doesn't take appropriate action. Police force must be deployed to stop illegal mining and action must be taken against people involved in it. If any police officer is found involved in it then disciplinary action will be taken against him. Along with it, videography of check points should also be done."

Illegal sand mining was one of the major issues in the state Assembly election. Several political leaders were accused of being involved in illegal mining. Police was also accused of shielding those involved.

Govind Singh, the minister in-charge for Datia district, recently admitted that illegal sand and stone mining were still rampant in the state, particularly in Bhind and Datia districts.

He even accused the police officers including the IGP of being involved in illegal mining.

"Rather than doing its work, the police is involved in the illegal sand mining business. The station in-charge takes Rs 50-60 lakh from the illegal sand miners," he said.

Reacting to Singh's statement, a close aide of Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said: "The appointments in both the districts, the district of which he (Singh) is in-charge and his home district, happened on the recommendations of the minister himself. Everyone in that area knows who all are involved in the illegal mining. If the minister is not able to control it then he should resign from his post."

State Mining Minister Pradeep Jaiswal on Wednesday said, "The government is committed to curb illegal mining. Vehicles have been seized at many places. Officials have been told of their responsibilities to curb illegal mining. The government will not tolerate corruption and district authorities will be responsible for any lapses or irregularities. Strict action will be taken against those involved in illegal sand mining."

--IANS

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