Mohali cops’ role under lens over ‘goonda tax’

MOHALI: The role of the local police is under the scanner in the case pertaining to the charging of “goonda tax”, which was being collected by the mining mafia in the Zirakpur-Dera Bassi area for the past few weeks.

editorial@tribune.com

Akash Ghai

Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 18

The role of the local police is under the scanner in the case pertaining to the charging of “goonda tax”, which was being collected by the mining mafia in the Zirakpur-Dera Bassi area for the past few weeks.

Mohali Deputy Commissioner Girish Dayalan marked an inquiry into the matter to Kharar SDM Himanshu Jain and asked him to submit a report in two days.

Today, when the inquiry officer met owners of stone crushers, who sat on a dharna against the illegal activities of the mining mafia in the area, and local residents, he was told that the mafia used to collect “goonda tax” while sitting at or near police nakas. Besides, they alleged that they had made several complaints to the police against the miscreants, but no action was taken. “This shows that the police were hand in glove with the mining mafia,” alleged an owner of a stone crusher in the Mubarakpur area.

The SDM admitted that he had recorded such statements. “Though I don’t want to comment against anybody right now, I am mentioning all facts in my report,” the SDM said.

The mafia was collecting “goonda tax”, ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 8,000 depending on the construction material loaded in the vehicles.

Against this illegal activity, members of the Mubarakpur Stone Crushers Association today sat on dharna. According to sources, the illegal tax was being collected at the behest of a person, who was also running a company here.

The Mohali Deputy Commissioner said that the report was being prepared by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Kharar. “Let me go through the report first. It will be submitted tomorrow,” said Dayalan, adding that no guilty person would be spared.

“The police have been directed to identify the “goonda elements” and take them to task after registering an FIR in this connection,” said the Deputy Commissioner.    

He said a joint inspection team under the Kharar SDM today visited Mubarakpur, Dappar, Handesra and the Chhat area. “I have directed the police and the Regional Transport Authority to increase patrolling in the area,” said the Deputy Commissioner. 

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