The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday demanded immediate dismissal of the station house officer (SHO) who had kept a mining official in illegal custody to reportedly force a compromise with the mining mafia backed by Congress Ghanaur legislator Madan Lal Jalalpur.

In a statement here, party spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema said it was shocking that general manager, mining Tehal Singh Sekhon had even been beaten up in the Shambhu police station in Patiala district only because he was doing his duty by checking illegal sand mining.

“It is even more shocking that the mining official is running from pillar to post since the last two days but is not able to get any justice,” he said.

Cheema said in the given circumstances the Patiala police could not be expected to do its duty. “Only a high level inquiry which could be conducted by a sitting judge of the Honorable high court or a CBI inquiry can unearth the mining mafia as well as ascertain the role of the Ghanaur mla in this sordid episode”, he added.

The former minister said the probe could also inquire into the large scale illegal sand quarrying occurring in Patiala along the Ghaggar river as well as other areas of the state.

“Reports of illegal sand mining are being reported from different parts of the State but the Congress government is refusing to take any action as its favourites, including ministers and legislators are involved in this nefarious activity”, he added.

Cheema said the SAD would raise this issue in the forthcoming Assembly session also. “People are suffering due to a three fold increase in sand prices. The Congress government needs to tell the people why sand prices have gone up so much. They promised to lower sand prices in their party manifesto but immediately after forming the government they auctioned off sand mines to their favourites, including a cook of Irrigation and Power minister Rana Gurjit Singh. This has resulted in the present state of affairs”, he said while demanding a complete overhaul of the State mining policy and bringing transparency in the auction and monitoring process.