AFTER the brazen mowing down of DSP Surender Singh by the driver of a dumper loaded with illegally quarried stone in Nuh district in July last year, there was a lull in illegal mining in Haryana as the state government clamped down on the mining mafia. Unfortunately, it was back to business as usual just two months later as the government became lax in fulfilling its promise of using drones to keep tabs on mining activity in sensitive zones, such as the Aravallis.
This relaxation has emboldened the mafia to again ride roughshod over officials checking illegal mining at the sites. On two consecutive days — Thursday and Friday — senior officers had a narrow escape as the goons of mafia kingpins assaulted them before making good their escape. The Tauru SDM and his team were nearly knocked down by a truck overloaded with mined material that he had signalled to stop for checking at the same spot where the DSP was killed 14 months earlier. The mafia’s men also had the temerity to thrash a constable and take back an overloaded dumper-truck from a team of the Haryana Enforcement Bureau in Firozpur Jhirka. In March, the driver of a tractor-trailer laden with sand in Panipat had rammed it into an SHO’s vehicle when the police team patrolling the area signalled him to stop.
Things are no better in neighbouring Punjab. Two district police chiefs who took on the mafia have been shunted out from their places of posting in a year or so — Dhruman H Nimbale after he busted a miners’ gang and Gurmeet Chauhan after he nabbed the brother-in-law of an AAP MLA in a case of illegal mining. These are not good tidings for law enforcement and environmental protection.
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