JAJPUR: Mangalpur police on Thursday arrested a sand smuggler for allegedly trying to run down the tehsildar of Dasarathpur with a tractor near Pallisahi sand ghat in Kasapa panchayat here. The accused was identified as 35-year-old Papi Sahoo, the tractor owner from Ahiyas. The driver, who is another accused in the case, is still at large, police said.
According to the complaint filed by tehsildar Abinash Biswajit Sethy with Mangalpur police, he along with other revenue officials had gone to Kasapa on Wednesday afternoon after receiving a tip-off about illegal sand mining on Baitarani river bed.
On seeing the tehsildar’s vehicle, most of the smugglers fled with their sand-laden tractors. Sethy alighted from his vehicle near Pallisahi ghat and managed to stop a sand-laden tractor.
When Sethy asked the driver to turn the tractor towards the road connecting the ghat, the latter tried to mow down the tehsildar at the behest of vehicle owner Papi. Sethy dodged the incoming tractor by jumping into a nearby pit.
Following the incident, the tehsildar lodged a complaint with police against Papi and the tractor driver. Based on the complaint, police registered a case and arrested the tractor owner. Jajpur SP Rahul PR said efforts are underway to nab the absconding driver.
It is the second such incident in Jajpur in a fortnight. On March 14, Binjharpur tehsildar Dipak Rout was threatened with dire consequences by a sand smuggler for cracking down on illegal mining at Barikul in Bitana panchayat.
Rout seized a tractor that was lifting sand illegally from Kharasrota river bed at Barikul. The owner of the seized vehicle reached the spot and allegedly threatened him with dire consequences. He also forcibly took away his tractor from the tehsildar’s custody.