BHOPAL: Forest department staff continues to be under attack of mining mafia in Gwalior-Chambal region of assembly poll-bound Madhya Pradesh.
Five days after Subedar Singh Kushwah, a deputy ranger of forest department was crushed to death by a tractor carrying illegally mined sand from Chambal river in Morena district, two forest department guards were shot at and injured by a gang allegedly ferrying illegally mined stones in adjoining Gwalior district on Wednesday late evening.
The two forest guards identified as Harivallabh Chaturvedi and Harishchandra Chouhan were on routine patrolling when they spotted two tractor-trolleys carrying illegally mined stones in Tigra police station area.
The two tractor-trolleys loaded with stones mined illegally from Jikhrikho were impounded and were being taken by the two forest guards to the forest department office. Suddenly the forest guard duo was ambushed and fired upon by unidentified men from the adjoining hillocks and ravines.
Both the forest guards slumped on the ground after sustaining bullet injuries and were subsequently rushed to a private hospital in Gwalior.
According to Gwalior district police superintendent, Navneet Bhasin teams have been constituted to track and nab the culprits, while the two forest guards are stated out of danger at the private hospital.
Upset over the incident, Rajendra Sharma, a leader of the Van Karamchari Sangh blamed the apathy of the senior officials of the department for rising attacks by mining mafia on the forest department staff in the region.
"Clear-cut directions are in place that the patrolling party of forest department should operate only with armed police escort, but it's hardly followed on the ground. The department's senior officials even don't bother to go to police stations for lodging FIRs in case of attacks on the lower rung staff," alleged Sharma.
Earlier, on September 7, a 59-year-old deputy forest ranger Subedar Singh Kushwah was crushed to death by a tractor-trolley loaded with illegally mined sand in Morena district.