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BJP targets govt on mining scam

Ranchi, Aug. 5: The BJP, which is the main Opposition party in the Jharkhand Assembly, today stepped up heat on the Hemant Soren government over illegal mining and an alleged mafia-politician-bureaucrat nexus.

In the first half of the session, BJP legislator Satyanand Jha Batul, through a short notice, asked the government what action had had been taken against officials who were hand in glove with the coal mafia. Jha added that local residents recently caught three coal-loaded trucks in Jamtara district, but no action had been taken against rogue officials.

Mounting the attack, senior BJP member Raghubar Das said the Vigilance Bureau, which had been probing the mining scam, had already found evidence against a former DGP and several serving senior police officers.

“The real intention of the government is not clear as the chief minister is not ready to recommend a CBI probe into the matter,” Das argued.

Parliamentary affairs minister Rajendra Prasad Singh though admitted that illegal coal mining had often been reported from different parts of the state, he firmly denied involvement of government officials in the scam. He added that a task force was functional in every district under the leadership of the deputy commissioner to check illegal mining.

This apart, a deputy director (mines) rank official leads flying squads to crack down on mining mafia.

The BJP members, who have been fuming since yesterday over chief minister Hemant Soren’s comments on newly elected BJP MP V.D. Ram, refused to budge.

Yesterday, during a special debate on the law and order situation, Hemant alleged that former state DGP-turned-Palamau MP Ram was the man behind formation of PLFI, TPC, JLT and several other Maoist splinter outfits. The state is now paying the price for that, the chief minister added.

The BJP members shot back, saying the chief minister should have taken actions against the former cop instead of levelling frivolous charges against him in the House. They said the government did not have the guts to arrest the real culprits.

The two sides continued to trade jibes at each other today. Taking a dig at the chief minister, who was also present but maintained a studied silence, leader of the Opposition Arjun Munda said the government should take action, instead of making statements in the House.

Replying to another question, human resources minister Geetashree Oraon promised to look into concerns raised by JMM member Ramdas Soren over poor infrastructure at Ghatshila College under Kolhan University.