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Top cops inspect coal zones

Bokaro, Jan. 15: Coal Belt inspector-general (IG) of police Murari Lal Meena and DIG Laxman Singh today conducted spot inspection in Bokaro, Giridih and Dhanbad, giving a strong signal to law enforcers to crack down on smuggling and illegal mining of coal or face harsh punishment.

The duo started from Bokaro Steel City and went to Bermo sub-division and Nawadih in the district, Dumri and Parasnath in Giridih, Nirsa and Topchanchi (Dhanbad), covering over 200km in a zone where illegal business of coal is rampant, thanks to a nexus that includes police and Maoists.

DIG Singh told The Telegraph they had repeatedly asked the police to keep close watch on economic offences, but some in the department were hand in glove with smugglers.

“The IG has directed all the OCs to perform or be ready to face punishment, as we will be keeping a close eye on economic offences,” Singh said, adding the superintendents of police had been asked to conduct raids and check the menace.

Two OCs were suspended in Hazaribagh on Saturday after 17 smugglers, nabbed in a secret operation led by IG Meena, revealed the duo were part of an illegal coal racket.

Meena, along with police teams of Bokaro and Giridih, had raided several spots in border areas of Hazaribagh.

The IG had clarified earlier that he would not allow coal smuggling and other economic crime to prosper, adding a percentage of the share goes into the kitty of Maoists.

Meanwhile, Bokaro SP Kuldeep Dwivedi today convened a meeting of his subordinates at Bermo and issued fresh diktats to the OCs in whose areas cases of coal smuggling were reported to curb the menace.