Attacks on bureaucrats who take on mining mafia continue

The tehsildar had apprehended two tractors that were carrying illegally mined sand.

Hingoli, Maharashtra: A tehsildar in Hingoli district of Maharashtra was almost run over by a tractor carrying illegally mined sand from Penganga river on Saturday.

Vidyacharan Kadaokar, the tehsildar, had reached Patonda village after getting information that tractors carrying sand were moving in the area. When he noticed the tractor he signaled it to stop but the truck nearly ran over him. At the time of the incident, there were no policemen with the tehsildar. A case has now been registered at the Basamba police station under sections under 379 and 353 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and the police say they are on the lookout for the accused.

Earlier in the day, the tehsildar had apprehended two tractors that were carrying illegally mined sand at Pedgaon village in Hingoli district with the help of the police.

The incident comes just days after a bureaucrat in Himachal Pradesh was nearly killed allegedly by the illegal sand mining mafia in the Solan district, 45 kilometres from state capital of Shimla. Yunus Khan had tried to impound a vehicle on Wednesday with illegally-mined sand with the help of his staff, when the driver tried to hit his car, in an attempt to force it over a bridge, not once but four times.

Yunus Khan, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Nalagarh, is from the same batch of IAS officers as Durga Shakti Nagpal, whose suspension by the Uttar Pradesh government after taking on the illegal sand mining mafia has raised a storm. Ms Nagpal's suspension has generated a national debate on the need to protect honest officers from political interference and vendetta.

Another bureaucrat, Ashish Kumar, who was the District Collector of Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu was also transferred a few days ago, after he had conducted raids on mineral quarries owned by local mining barons in two villages in the district.

The attacks on officials who take on the mafia and the lack of protection for them has raised serious questions about the fate of honest officers. This attack has once again highlighted the need for security for officers who fight against the menace of illegal mining.
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