MALKANGIRI: A day after unaccounted cash of Rs 2.8 lakh was recovered from Motu IIC Sushant Sahu by Vigilance officials, the Congress on Thursday alleged that the incident has exposed the nexus between Malkangiri police and the mining mafia operating in the district.
Former Nabarangpur MP and Congress leader Pradeep Majhi said police officials are hand-in-glove with the mafia in looting of valuable minerals from different mines across the district, particularly in Motu area. “Vigilance recovered Rs 2.8 lakh from the Motu IIC while he was on way to Phulnakhara in Cuttack in an SUV on Wednesday. This incident clearly establishes the police-mining mafia nexus,” he said.
Nine granite-laden trucks of Peta-based VG Granites were detained by Motu police on September 17 for not possessing valid papers. The trucks were transporting the stone quartz to Andhra Pradesh. “After coming to know that granites are being transported to AP without valid documents, I called the Malkangiri Collector and SP and told them to inform the Deputy Director of Mines at Koraput. But instead of taking any action, Motu police gave VG Granites enough time to prepare the documents and released all the vehicles within an hour after my call,” Majhi claimed.
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The Congress leader further alleged that VG Granites is transporting stone in excess of its permit while police have turned a blind eye to the illegal practice. “The mining company is paying chanda (donation) to Motu police every month for safe passage of its vehicles transporting granites,” Majhi alleged, adding Motu IIC Sahu was going to Cuttack with this month’s ‘chanda’.
He urged the State government to set up an office of the Mines department in Malkangiri to prevent loot of valuable minerals by the mafia from outside Odisha. VG Granites is owned by Andhra Pradesh trader Ch Venu Gopal whose solvency certificate and quarry lease was cancelled by Malkangiri administration recently. The mining lease of Venu Gopal was also cancelled.