Punjab cracks down on illegal sand mining, nine arrested

Chandigarh, March 15 (IANS) Acting on the directions of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Punjab Police has cracked down in a big way on sand mining being carried out at night in six districts.

Nine persons were arrested in the special operations, which led to the seizure of 18 vehicles being used illegally in the night mining, according to Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta.

The seizures, made during the raids in Ropar, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar City, Jalandhar Rural, Moga and Fazilka on early Sunday, included JCBs, tractor trolley and tippers, he added.

So far, nine cases have been registered by the police, and further investigations are in progress, said the DGP.

The DGP said similar raids will be carried out daily on the directives of the Chief Minister, who had received certain reports and complaints of illegal mining being carried out at night.

The special operations, to be conducted in all the concerned districts, will involve officers of the Mining Department.

The police will accompany the civil officers deputed by the Deputy Commissioners, he added.

Giving details of last night's operations, Gupta said in Ropar, though the night mining was hampered by rains, the raiding team nabbed three people with two sets of machinery.

In Moga, two persons were arrested with two tractors and trolleys. Efforts were on to arrest the owners as well, he said.

Meanwhile, reiterating his commitment to eliminate illegal mining completely from the state, Amarinder Singh said all out efforts were being made by the government to check such mining activity.

Top officials of the districts where such mining was allegedly taking place, especially in the cover of darkness, had strict instructions to take immediate cognizance and action on any complaints, he said, warning that no laxity in this regard would be tolerated.



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