The Damodar river, a lifeline for the East and West Burdwan, Purulia and Bankura districts, is facing a severe ecological crisis that threatens the very foundation of the communities relying on it.
Tension ran high at Mundamal village, outskirts of Vyas Nagar Municipality, after Vyasanagar tehsildar and some other tahasil officials were allegedly thrashed by a mining mafia and their supporters at the village on Thursday.
Vyas Nagar tahasildar Sapan Kumar Nanda, Revenue Inspector (RI) of Pachhikote circle Sujit Kumar Samal, one Assistant RI and two other staff of Vyas Nagar tehasil sustained injuries following the group attack on them and admitted to the Area Hospital at Jajpur Road.
They were discharged after primary treatment, police said.According to the FIR filed with local police by the Vyas Nagar tehasildar, a special squad formed to check illegal mining of minor minerals, led by Nanda had detained a vehicle for illegally transporting minor mineral on Thursday afternoon.
The squad also imposed fine on the vehicle carrying smuggled mineral. Irked over incident, the vehicle driver and their supporters, including many women assaulted the tehsildar and other officials of the special squad and threatened them of dire consequences if they prevent their illegal activities.
“On receiving information on illegal mining, our squad led by me rushed to Vyasa Sarovar area under our tahasil jurisdiction on Thursday. A mini truck was illegally loading morum from non lease area located on forest land. Seeing the squad, the driver fled from the scene with his mineral laden truck. We chased the vehicle and intercepted it near Mundamal village,” said Vyas Nagar tahasildar Sapan Kumar Nanda.
The squad then seized the vehicle and imposed a fine for carrying smuggled minor mineral. “When fine was imposed on the occupant of the vehicle, identified as Bijay Jena, he laid on the ground and created furore.
Hearing his scream, a group of villagers nearly 50, most of them were women, reached the spot and beat us ,” he said. The mob also forcibly took awaythe seized mineral laden vehicle and its driver from our clutches, he said.
On being informed, Jajpur Road police reached the spot and rescued the tahasildar and other four squad members from the mob. Police also arrested six person involved in the crime. “A case has been registered against the accused under various section of IPC.
We have arrested six persons in this connection,” said Amitabh Mohapatra, inspector-incharge of Jajpur Road police station. He said massive manhaunt was ion to arrest more accused involved in the crime.