UDUPI: The deputy commissioner (DC) of Udupi district, Priyanka Mary Francis, and assistant commissioner Shilpa Nag had a narrow escape, after a gang involved in illegal sand mining tried to assault them, late on Sunday night. A village accountant from Amparu village, Kantharaj, who was with them was gravely assaulted and has been hospitalised.
The incident occurred near Kandlur village in Kudapur taluk of the district, where the officials had gone for a surprise inspection following repeated complaints. Priyanka Mary Francis has filed a complaint at Udupi town police station under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The land where the sand is illegally being extracted was raided by the DC at midnight on Sunday. Before reaching the spot in Kandlur, the officials had raided another illegal sand extraction spot in Halnad, and had taken six people into custody.
When Priyanka Mary Francis along with other officials reached the spot in Kandlur, some labourers reportedly managed to escape and took shelter in local houses. The labourers then, with the support oof locals turned on the Priyanka Mary, Shilpa Nag and Kantharaj. Kantharaj was severely assaulted by the gang, while the DC and other officials were safeguarded by her gunmen.
DC Priyanka Mary Francis told reporters that she had to conduct a raid as there were several complaints by local residents demanding the raid operation be led by her. A decision to conduct the raid was taken in a meeting held recently.