Additional tehsildar, three revenue inspectors hurt in sand mafia attack in Odisha

Miscreants also threaten the officials at gunpoint; one detained

Published: 09th May 2022 08:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th May 2022 08:01 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BERHAMPUR: An additional tehsildar and three revenue inspectors (RIs) sustained injuries after being attacked by the sand mafia near Malijagannathpur village in Ganjam district on Saturday night.The injured were identified as additional tehsildar of Ganjam Suvendu Kumar Jena, RIs Bhaskar Sahoo, Sitaram Sahoo and Sushant Kumar Behera. They have been admitted to Chhatrapur hospital for treatment.

Sources said on getting information about illegal transportation of sand from Rushikulya river bed near Malijagannathpur, Suvendu along with the three RIs raided the place late in the night on Saturday. However, four miscreants arrived there on motorcycles all of a sudden and attacked them.

The miscreants also threatened the officials at gunpoint before decamping with their gold ornaments, cellphones and wallets. The injured officials informed police about the incident following which a team led by Chhatrapur sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Gautam Kisan rushed to the spot and rescued them.Police have detained three persons in this connection and further investigation is underway.

This not the first time government officials have been attacked by sand mafia in Ganjam. Similar incidents have been reported in Chikiti and Purusottampur in the past. Sources said with mushrooming of brick kilns and ongoing construction work of different projects, the demand for sand has increased substantially in the district. As the leased sand ghats are unable to cater to the demand, illegal mining has become rampant in Ganjam.

Besides, due to restriction on sand mining in Andhra Pradesh (AP), traders of the neighbouring State have engaged the local mafia to lift sand clandestinely from Bahuda river bed at Chikiti, Ghodahada in Digapahandi, Rushikulya in Purusottampur, Aska and other places.

The mafia are reportedly supplying sand to different parts of the State and neighbouring AP in connivance with a few corrupt officials. Sand-laden trucks plying on road during the night is a common sight at these places.Last month, earthmovers and excavators engaged in illegal sand mining were seized from Bahuda river bed.

Illegal practice

Mushrooming of brick kilns and construction work of different projects has led to a spurt in demand for sand
As leased sand ghats are unable to cater to the demand, illegal mining has become rampant in Ganjam
AP traders have engaged local mafia to lift sand clandestinely from Bahuda river bed 
Sand-laden trucks plying on road during night is a common sight

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