VELLORE: Villagers of Jayapuram, about 12 km from Tirupattur, saved a government employee from certain death on Saturday. Fifty-one-year-old Village Assistant (VA) S Rajendran, who tried to stop a gang of notorious smugglers from illegally mining sand from Kottaru river, was attacked and dragged for about 100 metres by the thugs. The smugglers then tried to bury him alive in a five-foot deep pit in the riverbed.
However, he was saved after a small girl alerted the villagers about the incident. Revenue and police departments officials were shocked after hearing about the incident since the notorious gang had gone to the extent of killing the government employee.
Sources in the police department said the prime accused, Thirupathy, a resident of Annasagaram in Mallapalli, had attempted to murder the VA. He has been smuggling sand from the riverbed for years. There were a number of cases against him. He, however, continued his illegal activities with alleged political support.
Tirupattur Sub-collector Shilpa Prabhakar, who received information about sand smuggling in Kottaru river, immediately directed Revenue Inspector Raja, and Village Administrative Officer of Paniyandapalli panchayat Samundi, to rush to the spot and stop the illegal activity. They, in turn, alerted the VA, who was on his way to Jayapuram on a two-wheeler after attending the jamabandhi at the Sub-collector’s Office on Saturday, to rush to the riverbed.
“I reached the spot at 4.30 pm and took the key from the tractor in which they were loading the sand. One of the four persons contacted their owner. Within 10 minutes, he came to the spot on his bike and tried to snatch the key from me. But I resisted and they started to beat me and also dragged me for nearly 100 metres,” said Rajendran who is undergoing treatment in the Government Hospital at Tirupattur.
Thirupathy and his associates threw Rajendran into the pit, dug up to illegally mine sand in the riverbed, and started to cover him with sand.