Officials narrowly escape attack by mining mafia in Odisha

Locals claimed mafia frequently lifts sand illegally from Sono river and transports it both within and outside Kaptipada sub-division daily using dumpers and tractors.
Argument between mining officers, villagers and sand mafia at Bada Bisol
Argument between mining officers, villagers and sand mafia at Bada Bisol Photo | Express

BARIPADA: Tension prevailed in Bada Bisol area under Kaptipada sub-division in Mayurbhanj district on Saturday after sand mining mafia attempted to attack two mining officers who had imposed fines for the illegal transportation of sand from the Sono river.

Though the two officers narrowly escaped the attack, a group of local residents protested against the mafia and urged the officers to take stringent action to curb illegal sand transportation that causes revenue loss to the government every year.

Locals claimed mafia frequently lifts sand illegally from Sono river and transports it both within and outside Kaptipada sub-division daily using dumpers and tractors. The heavy vehicles have damaged village roads, posing risks to locals. When villagers protested, the mafia allegedly threatened them. Despite requests for intervention from the local police and Revenue department, no action has been taken against the mafia which continues its illegal activities in the region.

Sources said, mining officer Dilip Kumar Mahana and deputy mining officer Santosh Kumar Dalei conducted a surprise raid in Bada Bisol after receiving information on illegal sand transport.

They found several tractors carrying sand from Sono river bed. When the officers detained the tractors and asked the drivers for official documents, the drivers could not produce any. Consequently, the officers imposed fines for the illegal sand transportation.

Meanwhile. the mafia involved in the illegal practice arrived at the scene and argued with the officers, creating an uncontrollable situation as local residents supported the officers and protested against the mafia. The officers detained the mafia for more than three hours until police from Kaptipada arrived and rescued them.

A senior mining officer stated that legal action will be taken against those who attempted to attack the officers.

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