2 forest officials hurt in attack by mining mafia

HARIDWAR: A team of the Forest Department and the police was allegedly attacked by the quarrying mafia when it had gone to inspect the Kotawali riverbed of the Ganga in the Shyampur area here.

Tribune News Service

Haridwar, September 15

A team of the Forest Department and the police was allegedly attacked by the quarrying mafia when it had gone to inspect the Kotawali riverbed of the Ganga in the Shyampur area here. Two employees of the Forest Department were injured in stone throwing by the fleeing quarrying mafia while two persons were arrested for illegal quarrying from the site.

The administration team informed the higher officials, who arrived with additional force at the spot.

Though the attackers escaped, the team seized five trucks and five Pockland heavy duty machines being used in illegal quarrying operations on the riverbed.

According to Shyampur forest range officials, on receiving information about illegal quarrying a team was sent to the location. However, seeing the team of forest and police officials approaching, the quarrying mafia attacked the team members with stones and fled. Two employees of the Forest Department sustained injuries during the raid. They were taken to a hospital.

SP (City) Navneet Singh said additional force had been deployed at the said area and the police teams were conducting raids to nab the culprits. Social activist JP Baduni has demanded regular police patrolling at the Ganga riverbed, citing a large number of illegal quarrying mafia operations being carried out in Haridwar.

At Lakshar, the police seized a tractor-trolley which was ferrying illegal quarrying material.

The Lakshar police arrested two persons, namely Israr, a resident of Habibpur in Lakshar, and Farid, a resident of Lehboli in Mangalore, from the quarrying site.

Attacks on administrative teams by the quarrying mafia have occurred in the past too. Two years ago, former Joint Magistrate Sonika Meena, along with her security guard and driver, was attacked by some persons ferrying illegal quarrying material on a tractor-trolley in Roorkee when she had stopped the vehicle on suspicion.

The SDO of the Haridwar Forest Department said a group of 50 persons, including local villagers, attacked the team.

“An FIR has been registered at Shyampur police station on our complaint against unknown persons,” he said.

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