Illegal sand mining takes over cremation ground meant for SC in Punjab village

A villager in Tira in SAS Nagar bitterly complains about how he was unable to collect the ashes of his mother due to the mining activity.

Published: 14th August 2022 07:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2022 07:49 AM   |  A+A-

mining, illegal mining

For representational purposes

CHANDIGARH:  Illegal sand mining has virtually hit the pits in Punjab. The mining mafia has dug up a village cremation ground meant for the SC community. The land also includes a dump yard for dead animals. The soil carried away on the sly includes the ashes of the deceased.

A villager in Tira in SAS Nagar bitterly complains about how he was unable to collect the ashes of his mother due to the mining activity. “We don’t know how and where we should cremate our loved ones,” he said. A dozen people of the village had complained to the state Scheduled Castes Commission.

The villagers said the SC community had been cremating their dead in the one-acre cremation ground meant for them. A shed was put up to demarcate the land. The villagers alleged that the shed has been broken to take away the soil that includes the ashes of the dead. “We are unable to collect the last remains of our loved ones as soil collectors desecrate the ground and carry away the ashes,” said a villager.

The villagers have now dug up trenches and filled them up with garbage to discourage illegal mining. Since the dump yard for dead animals has also fallen victim to mining, no place is available for such animals. Amrik Singh, a villager, said the panchayat was fully aware of the illegal act. “Villagers in shifts have patrolled the area, but the mafia is undeterred,” he said.

State SC Commission member Paramjit Kaur acknowledged the complaint. “I went to the village to check. I was shocked to see the shed broken down. Deep trenches have come up and soil excavated for illegal mining,” said Kaur.

“I instructed the officials to set things right by demarcating the area for the cremation ground and fencing it. The officials have to submit an action taken report on illegal mining to the commission before September 9. We’ll act after the report is with us,’’ she said.


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