Illegal miners ‘attack’ ex-MLA in Ajnala

AJNALA: A considerable chunk of the Ravi embankment has been eroding fast in Ajnala due to rampant illegal sand mining that can wreak havoc in nearby villages.

GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Ajnala, October 11

A considerable chunk of the Ravi embankment has been eroding fast in Ajnala due to rampant illegal sand mining that can wreak havoc in nearby villages.

Former Ajnala MLA Amarpal Singh Bony, along with his supporters, took a tour of interior areas of border village Ballarwal in Ajnala sector where he came across five to six gorges dug around 40-50 feet deep by mafia, allegedly in connivance with politicians and police. According to information, a group of people allegedly hurled abuses at Bony and his supporters and also pelted them with stones, smashing windowpanes of their cars.

Identical was the scene in villages like Sarangdev, Khanwala, Rerewal, Kot Rajda, Darie Musse and Jassar in Ajnala. Also barely within half an hour of the MLA’s visit, unidentified people attacked a family for raising voice against illegal mining.Manjit Singh and his brother Kashmir said six-seven armed people attacked them and damaged their house, tractor and generator set. “Our only fault was that we dared to raise voice against their misdoings. We identify the culprits but they have political shelter and police will be a mute spectator,” they said.

As Bony and his supporters were on their way back, a group of unidentified persons intercepted them, hurled abuses and even stoned their vehicles leaving the windowpanes of several cars broken. Bony and his team virtually sped away to save their lives.

Bony, who is now SAD (Taksali) leader after quitting SAD (Badal), said that due to political patronage, the sand mafia had encroached upon 15 acres of forest land, 10 acres of Punjab government’s land and 20 acres of local residents’ land here for their nefarious mining activity.

Illegal mining has been carried during the previous SAD-BJP regime too. Agreeing to it, Boney said, “Yes, I continued to raise it on party platform when I was with the SAD. It was my objection on this illegal mining in Ajnala that had fumed the top SAD leaders,” he added.

Congress MLA Harpartap Singh Ajnala said, “I never indulged in sand mining. It is an administrative subject. Moreover, most of the residents are poverty stricken who are themselves indulged with contractors in sand mining in their agriculture land to make livelihood,” he added.

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