The Telegraph
Wednesday , December 26 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Mining mafia pose threat to officers

Two young IPS officers in Bihar fear a Morena rerun in their areas of operation for the fight against illegal mining mafia.

Baburam and Manu Maharaj, posted as the superintendents of police of Sheikhpura and Rohtas districts, respectively, have allegedly become the target of some illegal stone quarrying traders.

A 2009-batch IPS officer, Narendra Kumar had to pay a heavy price for taking action against illegal miners operating in Madhya Pradesh (MP). Kumar, who had served in Bihar for a brief period before being transferred to MP, was crushed to death when he tried to stop a tractor carrying quarried stones in Morena district of MP on March 8.

The illegal quarrying mafia are operating in Bihar almost in a similar way. Baburam (2009 batch) survived an attack on his life on Friday night when his official vehicle was knocked down by a truck carrying stones on Sheikhpura-Barbigha road. The SPs vehicle was badly damaged in the incident.

Maharaj had a narrow escape when illegal miners had fired indiscriminately on his vehicle a few months ago. He has reportedly requested the police headquarters to transfer him from Rohtas.

Maharaj was attacked when he was leading an operation against illegal mining near Faizalpur village under Sasaram Mufassil police station in May this year. One of the bullets had pierced through the SPs official vehicle. Illegal quarrying mafia Bhuwar Singh, considered close to a ruling party leader, had allegedly masterminded the attack on the police team.

On the alleged nexus between politicians and quarrying mafia, Maharaj said: I have nothing to say. I am doing my job to the best of my ability. That is all what I can say.

During his nearly two-year stint, over 150 people involved in illegal mining have been arrested in Rohtas district. The names of two politicians figured among the accused.

Additional director-general of police (headquarters) Ravinder Kumar said all possible measures have been taken to stop illegal mining. Kumar, who is the official spokesman of the state police, however, parried the question on Maharaj seeking his transfer from Rohtas.

Eleven persons have been arrested for attempt to murder in connection with the attack on Baburam. Among them was Rajniti Choudhary, the owner of the truck. Ever since I assumed charge, around 200 people associated with illegal mining have been arrested, the Sheikhpura SP told The Telegraph on Tuesday. He said areas falling under the jurisdiction of Barbigha, Wajitpur, Chewara and Sisari police stations were considered transit points of illegal mining in the districts.

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