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No organised illegal mining activity in Haryana, only stray incidents: Minister tells state assembly

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Chandigarh, Aug 9 (PTI) The Haryana government on Tuesday said there was no organised illegal mining activity in the state but only stray incidents which are being dealt strictly as per law.

The state assembly witnessed a lengthy discussion, with the Opposition Congress and INLD taking on the BJP-led government on the issue in the wake of the death of a deputy superintendent of police (DSP), who was mowed down by a dumper truck in Nuh on July 19 when he had gone to conduct raids against illegal stone mining. Replying to a calling attention motion of Opposition MLAs, including INLD’s Abhay Chautala and Congress’ B B Batra, on illegal mining and assault by mining mafia resulting in the death of Tauru DSP Surender Singh, Haryana Mining Minister Mool Chand Sharma said the government is working on zero tolerance policy against illegal mining, adding that it is factually wrong to say that any mining mafia is thriving in the state.

“There is no organised illegal mining activity in the state, but only stray incidents of illegal mining are being reported which are being dealt with strictly as per law,” he said.           Besides, fines and penalties are imposed for dealing with cases of illegal mining while the police department has framed Standard Operating Procedure for effective and speedy investigation of the cases of illegal mining.           In his reply, the minister also gave details about the police action after the DSP was killed which included arresting 12 accused in the case.   Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said a special investigation team (SIT) has been constituted in the case.           Home Minister Anil Vij said judicial probe in the incident had been ordered although there was a slight delay in the process due to the retirement of the home secretary.      After the incident, an intelligence-based cordon and search operation was undertaken for five days from July 20 by the team involving officials of police and mining department in 33 villages of Nuh district, Mool Chand Sharma told the House.               During the operation, a search was made for proclaimed offenders, bail jumpers as well as the accused involved in heinous cases apart from checking of suspicious/stolen vehicles and vehicles involved in illegal mining.              Responding to concerns by some Congress MLAs that some innocents faced harassment during the search operation, Vij said, “I have given orders to police that all vehicles without documents or those running illegally should be seized. It is not for Nuh alone, but for the entire Haryana.”          When the Opposition legislators from Mewat region said they were not against action being taken to stop illegal mining, but the only concern was that no innocent should be harassed, Vij retorted, “Take out record of the proceedings and see how many MLAs said why search operation was conducted.”           “We have reached to the depth of the case and investigations have revealed in whose crusher the mining material was headed in the dumper truck which mowed down our police officer,” said Vij.                Informing the House about details of cases of illegal mining dealt specifically in districts Gurugram, Nuh, Faridabad, Yamunanagar and Mahendergarh since August 2019 to June 2022, minister Sharma said total number of vehicles seized was 4,121, while over Rs 60 crore was recovered as penalties.         About Haryana as a whole, Sharma said total number of cases related to illegal mining registered in the state over the last nearly eight years was 4,664, while 6,091 accused have been arrested and 4,653 vehicles seized.            As far as cases related to attack on police officials while on duty goes, between 2019 to July 2022, 79 cases were registered, 227 accused were arrested, 60 police personnel were injured while one died, the House was informed. Sharma said suitable amendments will be brought in existing rules to make strict provisions to curb occurrence of illegal mining in the state. Khattar said mining is closed in Mewat area, but some Opposition legislators had requested that crushers be run for those who come with goods from Rajasthan.

He said when the records and physical stock in their papers was checked, discrepancies were found.            Challans are also being issued to overloaded vehicles coming from Rajasthan, he said.         Khattar said during the tenure of the present state government, the revenue from mining has been Rs 4,660 crore in seven years from 2015-16 to 2021-22.  Whereas during the tenure of the previous government from the year 2005 to 2014, only Rs 1,268 crore revenue was generated, he said.           INLD’s Abhay Chautala claimed the government was in slumber as many incidents of attacks on officials allegedly by the mining mafia had taken place between December 2020 until last month in districts including Faridabad, Sonipat, Yamunanagar and Ambala.          Joining the issue, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda said so far, the government has talked about investigation in many cases including illegal mining to various scams including registry, liquor, but till date no report of investigation has come out.

Congress MLA B B Batra said there is ban on mining in Aravallis, still illegal mining is going on. PTI SUN VSD SRY SRY

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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