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Guardians in coal mafia payroll

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Dhanbad
  • Published 15.04.07
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Dhanbad, April 15: A vigilance department report has named police officers, politicians and journalists involved in illegal coal mining that goes on in 6 districts of Jharkhand.

The report also states that some police officers, who were in-charge of police stations in the coal districts, were again posted to the area. “The transfer orders come from the office of the director-general of police (DGP),” said a senior IPS officer.

“Whom should one blame for this illegal trade? We know that top police officers are bowing their heads to the pressures of politicians,” he added.

A transfer to the coal belt area is considered as a “plum posting” because of the opportunities to demand and receive hefty bribes.

The report was submitted in January to director-general of police J.B. Mahapatra. Three teams of vigilance officers had visited Bokaro, Dhanbad, Hazaribagh, Girdih, Koderma and Chatra, stayed there and talked to the residents before preparing the report.

Three deputy superintendents of police (DSPs), 11 inspectors and more than 20 sub-inspectors and several junior police officers are involved in coal smuggling, the report states. They are reportedly acting in connivance with politicians.

Some journalists, the report goes on to say, are also involved. The journalists reportedly promise not to write any thing against the illegal activity as long as they are paid regularly.

The report also mentions that politicians of several political parties and their close relatives are involved in this illegal trade. The politicians include several former and present MPs as well as ministers.

A senior vigilance officer said in the name of tackling the Maoists, two DSPs and several inspectors were involved in ferrying illegal coal from the abandoned mines in Bokaro, Dhanbad, Girdih, Hazaribagh and Chatra. “No one (meaning the public) dares to enter Naxalite territory, from where coal is ferried in the night,” he said.

Rebel review

Giridih police have come across a review report of the Maoists that details their operations, strengths and weaknesses. The biggest strength of the rebels is the “fair introspection” they do and that is also the reason behind the outfit’s success, according to the report, which even mentions the number of bullets fired from each gun during one such operation. The report, however, does not state how many policemen were killed though it mentions the Maoists killed.