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Mookunnimala issue: NIA enters the scene

National Investigation Agency has asked the government to inform it if any offence under the NIA Act is being committed.

Published: 07th January 2018 10:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th January 2018 08:58 AM   |  A+A-

A view of one of the alleged illegal quarries in Mookunnimala | File Photo

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With reports coming in about the use of extensive explosives and presence of unknown migrant workers in Mookunnimala region, the National Investigation Agency has asked the state government to inform it if any offence under the NIA Act is being committed in the region.

The NIA has sent a letter to the government (The New Indian Express has a copy of it)  after it received a complaint from a Mookunimala Samrakshana Samithi activist regarding the extensive use of explosives in the hill and presence of some unknown persons.

“NIA may please be informed if any scheduled offence to the NIA Act, 2008 is made out in the case,”  it said in the letter.  Further, it said since the Kerala government was seized of the matter, the complaint received by it was forwarded for the favour of information and further necessary action.

In the representation to NIA,  activist S Latha has alleged that huge quantity of banned substances is being used for mining and the vibrations generated are causing extensive damage to the Air Force installations, which are of importance in order to carry out surveillance of entire Thiruvananthapuram district and also the Arabian Sea.

She has also raised doubts over the migrant labourers working in the quarry situated very close to the defence establishments. “I have seen see a few of them using very sophisticated mobile phones which look similar to satellite phones. Some of them could be seen using sign languages and strange dialects to communicate with each other. I have also seen some cryptic letters in the quarrying field which is located very near to my house and the defence area,” she said in the representation.

In the representation, Latha also mentions how the Air Force top brass, in various communications to the state government, had expressed concern about the Bengali workers employed in the quarries. They also had raised doubts over the presence of migrant Bangladeshis with malafide intention among them, she told the NIA.  

Moreover, she points out the numerous letters sent by the Commanding Officer of the Southern Air Command to the state government as well as the Thiruvananthapuram District Collector. In the 2013 letter, the Air Command has said the mines located close to the Air Force area are using high-grade explosives and these are causing severe vibrations besides the large debris being thrown around. In 2009, the Commanding Officer said quarrying activities in the area has intensified and is taking place at 60 to 70 metres from the fencing of the Air Force Station in some places. They requested the government to halt mining around the radar station.

Latha had sought an investigation into the presence of anti-national elements in Mukkunnimala and a combing operation to trace out the explosives kept in the vicinity of the defence establishments. She also wants a probe launched to unearth suspicious devices and equipment.

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