THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The High Court has given directions to the effect that the officials probing the illegal mining at Mookunnimala should not be removed from their responsibilities as part of the investigating team. The directions were given while hearing a petition seeking the investigation under the supervision of the court.
In the petition, Latha Preeth had alleged that there was a move to shift the Deputy Superintendent of Police and Inspector of police, who were now probing the illegal quarry activities at Mookunnimala. It was alleged that the removal of these officials would affect the smooth and fair conduct of the investigation into the case.
The petitioner had also said that there was delay in completing the survey that the Vigilance had initiated in the hill for assessing the actual quantum of loss incurred due to illegal quarrying activities. The Vigilance was to resume the Total Station Survey last month, but it is alleged that they could not start the survey as illegal quarry activities were still going on in the hill.
It was about four months ago that the Vigilance had stopped the survey, stating that they could not conduct it because of the continuous mining activities. They had even written to the District Collector regarding the delay in resuming the survey owing to the quarry activities.
Though all quarry activities had been banned in the hill, the Mookunnimala Samrakshana Samithi alleged that illegal mining was going on as the officials were reluctant to conduct routine checks.